A. Impact fee receipts shall be earmarked specifically and retained in a special interest-bearing account established by the district solely for the district’s school impact fees as provided for in BCC 22.18.090. All interest shall be retained in the account and expended for the purpose or purposes identified in subsection B of this section. Annually the city, based on the report submitted by the district pursuant to BCC 22.18.090, shall prepare a report on school impact fees showing the source and amount of all moneys collected, earned or received, and capital or system improvements that were financed in whole or in part by impact fees.
B. Impact fees for the district’s system improvements shall be expended by the district for capital improvements, including but not limited to school planning, land acquisition, site improvements, necessary off-site improvements, construction, engineering, architectural, permitting, financing, and administrative expenses, relocatable facilities, capital equipment pertaining to educational facilities, and any other expenses which could be capitalized, and which are consistent with the district’s capital facilities plan.
C. In the event that bonds or similar debt instruments are issued for the advanced provision of capital facilities for which impact fees may be expended and where consistent with the provisions of the bond covenants, impact fees may be used to pay debt service on such bonds or similar debt instruments to the extent that the facilities or improvements provided are consistent with the requirements of this section.
D. School impact fees shall be expended or encumbered within 10 years of receipt, unless the council identifies in written findings extraordinary and compelling reason or reasons for the district to hold the fees beyond the 10-year period. The district may petition the council for an extension of the 10-year period and the district shall set forth any such extraordinary or compelling reason or reasons in its petition. Where the council identifies the reason or reasons in written findings, the council shall establish the period of time within which the impact fees shall be expended or encumbered, after consultation with the district.
E. The current owner of property on which an impact fee has been paid may receive a refund of such fees if the impact fees have not been expended or encumbered within 10 years of receipt of the funds by the city, except as provided for in subsection D of this section. In determining whether impact fees have been encumbered, impact fees shall be considered encumbered on a first-in, first-out basis. The city shall notify potential claimants by first-class mail deposited with the United States Postal Service addressed to the owner of the property as shown in the city’s tax records.
F. An owner’s request for a refund must be submitted to the council in writing within one year of the date the right to claim the refund arises or the date that notice is given, whichever date is later. Any impact fees that are not expended or encumbered within the limitations in subsection D of this section, and for which no application for a refund has been made within this one-year period, shall be retained and expended consistent with the provisions of this section. Refunds of impact fees shall include any interest earned on the impact fees.
G. Should the city seek to terminate any or all school impact fee requirements, all unexpended or unencumbered funds, including interest earned, shall be refunded to the current owner of the property for which a school impact fee was paid. Upon the finding that any or all fee requirements are to be terminated, the city shall place notice of such termination and the availability of refunds in a newspaper of general circulation at least two times and shall notify all potential claimants by first-class mail addressed to the owner of the property as shown in the city’s tax records. All funds available for refund shall be retained for a period of one year. At the end of one year, any remaining funds shall be retained by the city, but must be expended for the district, consistent with the provisions of this section. The notice requirement set forth above shall not apply if there are no unexpended or unencumbered balances within the account or accounts being terminated.
H. A developer may request and shall receive a refund, including interest earned on the impact fees, when:
1. The developer does not proceed to finalize the development activity as required by statute or city code or the Uniform Building Code; and
2. No impact on the district has resulted. “Impact” shall be deemed to include cases where the district has expended or encumbered the impact fees in good faith prior to the application for a refund. In the event that the district has expended or encumbered the fees in good faith, no refund shall be forthcoming. However, if within a period of three years, the same or subsequent owner of the property proceeds with the same or substantially similar development activity, the owner shall be eligible for a credit. The owner must petition the city and provide receipts of impact fees paid by the owner for a development of the same or substantially similar nature on the same property or some portion thereof. The city shall determine whether to grant a credit, and such determinations may be appealed by following the procedures set forth in BCC 22.18.070.
I. Interest due upon the refund of impact fees required by this section shall be calculated according to the average rate received by the city or the district on invested funds throughout the period during which the fees were retained.
J. Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary in this code, the city, with the approval of any affected school district, may determine to refund school impact fees in circumstances where a valid issue exists concerning the legality of the imposition and collection of such fees. Refunds shall be made to the current owner of the property upon which the impact fees were imposed. (Ord. 6298 § 6, 2016; Ord. 4830 § 1, 1995; Ord. 4801 § 2, 1995; Ord. 4767 § 1, 1995.)