To catch you all up quickly, the Spokane City council placed a moratorium on building in the Latah corridor for six months while working on updating Transportation Impact fees and General factly Charges (GFC). After tentatively finding an agreement on Transportation Impact Fees, the Council has now leveraged the end of the moratorium to update the General Facility Charges city-wide - which was not made clear until about two weeks ago. This has huge repercussions for the entire city and could see new construction home prices shoot up another $20,000 plus.
Backing up one step, GFCs are the fees you pay to connect to sewer and water infrastructure in Spokane. Historically Spokane has had lower fees, which in the past, was key to building and maintaining affordable housing. However, these fee updates will worsen the housing shortage in Spokane and cause prices to rise yet again. To make matters worse, Council has pushed ahead at breakneck speed even as industry leaders, builders, developers, renters, and potential homebuyers have begged them to slow down and consider alternative options.
To give you some numbers, the base price for a water hook-up fee would go from $1,200 to $10,700, and the base price sewer hook-up fee would go from $2,000 to $ 8,500. Industry leaders also note other concerns that if the new fees passed, it would add around $20,000 to the cost of installing an ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit), which the city has incentivized for folks to build. There are also substantial equity concerns as these fee increases would, percentage-wise, place a higher cost burden on a 4plex vs. a single-family home which is less efficient than the units within the fourplex. Finally, there is also a lack of transparency and willingness to work with the community to find an alternative solution.
As of now, the Council plans to vote on this emergency ordinance at their 6 PM meeting next Monday (3/13/23). We need you to call and email the City Council President to let him know these fee increases will dramatically hurt the housing market in Spokane and that an alternative plan needs to be found.
We need you to get involved. Click below to sign the Mayor's letter calling for Spokane City Council to support Councilman Bingle's compromise plan.
If you are ready to email and call, please use the contact information below: