Council Legislation

Proposed Ordinance No. 2016-51s

Title: An Ordinance of the Pierce County Council Amending Pierce County Code Chapter 4A.01, "Impact Fees - Authority and Purpose," Chapter 4A.10, "Impact Fees - General Requirements," Chapter 4A.20, "Impact Fees - Parks," Section 18.20.025, "Impact Fees," and Section 18A.65.040, "Financial Incentives"; Adopting Findings of Fact; and Setting an Effective Date.

Effective: February 1, 2017

Status: Passed

Sponsors: Councilmembers Connie Ladenburg, Derek Young

Final votes

November 8, 2016
Aye Aye Nay Aye Aye Aye Aye


Documents
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Public Comments

Name Date Comment
Hunter George 9/30/16 4:43 PM The following is a letter from Shon Sylvia, interim executive director of Metro Parks Tacoma: Dear Chairman Richardson and members of the County Council, I write to express my appreciation for your consideration of Proposed Ordinance 2016-51, the parks impact fee legislation. County staff members have done an excellent job of carefully working through the challenges with a dedicated group of stakeholders. Increasing growth in our communities is pushing increased demand for parks, open space, and trails. Assessing fees on new development is a reasonable price to pay to help keep pace in providing for critical parks amenities. Studies show that parks and trails are important components of happy and healthy communities. In fact, we have local data that emphasizes this point. This year, we updated our Mission-Led Comprehensive Program Plan, a strategic document that guides budget and programming decisions for six years. It is based on information gathered through a scientifically valid survey of 600 Tacoma residents, input from 150 stakeholder groups, interviews with community leaders, and more. The study’s demographic analysis emphasized the need for expanded parks and recreational services in our communities. We found that the planning region within a 30-minute drive of Tacoma is growing (14.5% projected population increase over the next 15 years). It’s also aging and becoming more ethnically diverse, and there will be an increase in the number of people with disabilities. Our mission-led public survey found that trails were one of the top unmet facility needs within the park district. Approximately 72% of Tacoma residents expressed a need for more soft surface trails, as did 59% for hard surface trails. Metro Parks Tacoma is working on a number of regional park and trail projects that will enhance the quality of life throughout the region. An example of our commitment to meeting the community need is our investment in a trail network and park amenities that will make 383-acre Swan Creek Park a regional countywide attraction. In addition, we have funded improvements and expansions of local trail systems in conjunction with the City of Tacoma, including the Pipeline Trail and Prairie Line Trail. These systems will become truly regional trail networks with further investments to connect them to Pierce County's growing trail network. Finally, state and national data also point to the value of investing in parks: A National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA) study found that parks contribute $2.4 billion in economic activity in Washington State. And a recent study from England’s University of Exeter concluded that people who move to areas with more green space reported higher mental health scores – meaning they were happier and had lower levels of depression and anxiety. The proposed park impact fee will give you critically-needed resources to invest in parks, open space and recreational facilities that will last for generations. We have a great relationship with Pierce County Parks and Recreation and other County staff. At Metro Parks, we stand ready to offer local and national data or other expertise if you would find that helpful during your consideration of Proposed Ordinance 2016-51. Again, we applaud your effort and leadership on this topic. Sincerely, Shon Sylvia Metro Parks Tacoma Interim Executive Director