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.

jack-sooksan / Adobe Stock

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

Rendering of electric scooters, electric cars, light rail train, and apartments in background.

Arizona’s ‘Car-Free’ Community Takes Shape

Culdesac Tempe has been welcoming residents since last year.

February 14, 2024 - The Cool Down

Aerial view of suburban sprawl with large single-family homes near Dallas, Texas.

The Changing Shape of American Suburbs

Housing costs and availability are pushing more American households, including young families, to suburbs and exurbs — and they’re demanding changes.

February 13, 2024 - Business Insider

Aerial view of New York City architecture with augmented reality visualization, blue digital holograms over buildings and skyscrapers

4 Ways to Use AI in Urban Planning and City Design

With the ability to predict trends, engage citizens, enhance resource allocation, and guide decision-making, artificial intelligence has the potential to serve as planners’ very own multi-tool.

February 20, 2024 - ArchDaily

Google street view of wide grassy median in Beverly Hills, California.

Beverly Hills Installs First ‘Green Street’

A three-block median featuring native plants and bioswales is part of the city’s broader effort to reduce water consumption and pollution.

6 hours ago - Beverly Press

Habitat for Humanity volunteers in construction helmets buildign a wood-frame house.

Habitat for Humanity and Missoula Land Trust Team up on Affordable Housing

The partnership will ensure the new homes will remain affordable for future buyers.

7 hours ago - KPAX

Orange California poppies in bloom over gently rolling hills in Southern California's Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve.

Experiencing California's Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve

Located in the western Mojave Desert, this stunning state natural reserve is renowned for its breathtaking displays of California poppies and has even been referred to as California's most beautiful place.

February 22 - California.com

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

The Walkable City

Harvard GSD Executive Education

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.