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Builders, not residents, should pay for Seattle’s explosive growth

Posted on Jun 16, 2017 in:
  • Industry News
By Johnathan Martin, Seattle Times

Ask a few friends and neighbors who should pay for the consequences of growth in boom time Seattle? I bet most will answer as mine do: Charge developers impact fees. Make growth pay for growth.

Unlike other big cities in the region, Seattle has ignored this populist anthem for a generation as it grew denser, more congested and less green.

Former Councilmember Nick Licata, before he retired, told me that city staff pushed back when he talked about impact fees after he first joined the council in the late 1990s. Yet when the City Council massively upzoned the University District in February, the populist anthem was still being sung by community groups. Why not charge developers impact fees to ease burdens on roads, parks and schools?

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