2 Pierce County Council proposals aim to help developers

Two measures intended to stimulate the economy by allowing developers to delay paying some fees cleared a Pierce County Council committee Tuesday on its way to the full council. The first proposal (2010-65) allows builders to put-off paying county-mandated parks and traffic impact fees until later in the development process. The second (2010-67) does the same for sewer-connection charges. They are the latest council measures to be based on suggestions from the county’s 2008 Economic Stimulus Report intended to enhance the local economy. According to the county, economic conditions have made lenders more cautious about granting loans for new development. Removing the sewer and impact fee amounts from the initial project cost makes for a lower construction loan amount, which would be potentially more attractive to the lender. The legislation moves the date by which developers would need to pay the sewer connection and parks and traffic impact fees to Pierce County; developers would still be responsible for paying those fees later in the project’s cycle. The County Council adopted parks impact fees in 1996 to make developers pay for the impact their neighborhoods’ population on the county’s parks. Passed in 2006, traffic impact fees require builders to account for increased use of county roadways as a result of new development. Deferrals of sewer-system charges and impact fees would be granted from Jan. 15 until the legislation sunsets on Dec. 31, 2013. The full council will consider both proposals at its Oct. 12 regular meeting at 3 p.m. in the Council Chambers on the 10th floor of the County-City Building, 930 Tacoma Ave. S., in Tacoma. Meetings are broadcast live and replayed on PCTV channel 22 and streamed live and archived at the channel’s Web site http://www.piercecountytv.org .