Bonney Lake Council reduces sewer impact fees in hope to encourage building

Bonney Lake City Hall

After months of discussion and false starts, the Bonney Lake City Council passed a pair of ordinances designed to spur building by reducing impact fees and charges for construction.

At the Tuesday Council meeting, the body first passed a measure to limit the city’s collections of sewer system development charges for tenant improvements and changes to an existing space, to three times.

The city will collect the charges for the initial business and two subsequent changes. After that, no additional charges will be collected.

The measure passed 6-0 (Councilwoman Katrina Minton Davis, who supported the measure throughout the process, was absent).

The council also passed a measure to temporarily reduce the amount of the city traffic impact fee on residential homes by 25 percent, or approximately $3,600.

The new ordinance is designed to make the city more appealing to visitors by lowering its impact fees, which are the highest in the county.

“We recognize from the building community that they have needs,” Deputy Mayor Dan Swatman said, adding there was still work to be done on the city’s fee schedule. “This is not the end of the road.”

The measure passed 5-1, with Councilman Mark Hamilton opposed to the measure. It was an issue of “basic economics” that the money saved by developers would eventually have to be made up by the citizens of the city, he said.

“This is a taxation on the existing property tax payers in the city of Bonney Lake,” he said.

The measure’s passage drew applause from a pair of builders in the audience, who urged passage of the ordinance.