The 2013 Legislature continues in special session to resolve differences between the House and Senate budgets. This 30-day special session is set to conclude by June 12, although no budget breakthrough appears imminent. Sources keep whispering about the possibility of additional sessions.
Despite the great efforts of BIAW and local associations throughout the state to get an impact fee deferral bill passed by both the House and the Senate, Governor Inslee vetoed the billing citing his belief that it benefited large home builders and not small home builders. The Seattle Times ran an editorial over Memorial Weekend calling on the legislature to override the Governor’s veto.
Here locally, the Clark County Commissioners contemplated removing impact and permit fees for non-residential uses in a hearing last month. The Commissioners did not take any action last month, but decided to hold the matter over until Tuesday, June 11, 2013. The Development Engineering Advisory Board, while supporting the proposal, expressed concerns about the long-term viability of the fee waiver program and the potential to disproportionately shift the costs over to the housing industry. We believe that in light of some of the concerns raised by DEAB and others that the Commissioners will set limitations to ensure that the program brings about the economic development thrust intended without the potential repercussions to our industry.
Executive President of BIAW, Art Castle, came and spoke to the Government Affairs Committee last month regarding low impact development techniques, the costs associated with low impact development, and potential incentives for local governments to adopt when implementing them. Several guest attendees from local jurisdictions also came and discussions should ensue about how to coordinate efforts to create incentives for the development community.
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