Seattle Council Rejects Transportation Impact Fee

Councilmembers who opposed the proposal say the fee would have slowed housing development and raised housing costs.

1 minute read

November 28, 2023, 12:00 PM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

View of downtown Seattle with construction cranes and cloudy sky as seen from top of Space Needle.

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The Seattle City Council voted against a proposal that would have paved the way for a transportation impact fee that would have imposed a charge on new developments.

According to an article in The Registry, “The proposed ordinance aimed to pave the way for a transportation impact fee geared toward constructing sidewalks and other vital infrastructure. Developers expressed concerns that such fees would elevate housing costs, contributing to the council’s close vote against the measure.” 

The article adds that the ordinance, which could come before the council again next year, did not immediately impose the fee, but “adjusted the comprehensive plan to outline potential strategies for its implementation.” However, housing advocates expressed concern that the fee could slow housing production and ultimately pass costs on to renters.

A transportation impact fee has been proposed in Seattle for over a decade. In an article in The Urbanist, Ryan Packer notes that “Seattle has long been an outlier in Washington in not having a transportation impact fee program, with over 70 other jurisdictions having fees of certain sizes in place, in addition to impact fees for other infrastructure like schools and parks.”

Monday, November 27, 2023 in The Registry

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