Park fees on new development likely to increase in 2018

The City of Redmond is considering raising park impact fees to help pay for building new parks and major renovations of existing ones.

A study session was held at the May 9 city council meeting about increasing the one-time fees, which would raise the amount various developers pay on projects.

Redmond Parks Planning Manager Carolyn Hope said the fee is not a repeating one.

“This isn’t an annual cost for anyone, it’s a one-time fee for development,” she said.

The fee goes toward funding the roughly $50 million budget for park acquisition, design, construction, risk and remodeling through 2030.

The city currently owns 46 parks encompassing more than 1,350 acres on top of more than 36 miles of trails and four community centers.

Fees are levied on six different types of development, including single-family homes, multi-family apartments and single-occupant apartments that are charged on a per-unit basis.

Office, retail and industrial developments are charged per 1,000 square feet.

Hope said office developments will see a 5.1 percent increase to bring the fee to $1,242 per 1,000 square feet. Retail and industrial developments would see a similar increase and come in at $551 and $559 per 1,000 square feet, respectively.

Single-family homes would see a 23.6 percent increase for a total of $4,585 per house and multi-family apartments would be charged $3,1183 per unit. Single-occupant apartments would be increased to $1,730 per unit.

While single-family homes saw the largest percentage increase, Hope said that the majority of funding, some $28 million of the $50 million projection, would come from multi-family apartment construction.

Fee rates were designed by calculating a number of factors, including the average number of people living in or using each structure, whether the users live in the city and how many hours each person spends at a park each week.

Hope said the average number of people living in a single-family home is 2.6 while apartments have 1.8 people. Residents were estimated to use parks on average four hours every week while non-residents use them for around one.

“What it really comes down to is, so you’ve got this location of cost per sector and it’s how many units are going to be built that are going to share cost,” Hope said.

The last time the park impact fee methodology was updated was in 2006, Hope said. Since then, many additional park projects have been undertaken.

Some current projects include the second phase of construction for Downtown Park in Redmond, repaving various parking lots, updating picnic shelters, repairing docks and possibly connecting neighborhoods to trails throughout the city.

The next step for the fee increases will be approval from the city council.

Hope said it could be presented to the council as early as June, but because staff does not want to implement them until 2018, it could be held for approval until the end of the year.