The Port Angeles City Council has approved an ordinance to address housing development needs, while bringing service fees in line with current industry standards. The legislation, effective January 1, 2024, will eliminate 25 building permit fees for 15 housing types, impose new performance measures, and update other fees relative to development, fire, and cemetery services.
“Housing is the top priority of the City of Port Angeles. This ordinance stands as a key element of our broader efforts to innovatively promote infill, affordable and multi-family housing development. Taking this step will not only brighten Port Angeles’ financial future, it will directly improve the feasibility and viability of new housing unit construction,” says City Manager Nathan A. West. “Permanently waived permit fees are a major step forward and we are proud to be the first municipality in the state to embrace this approach.”
The legislation includes several measures to incentivize new development, while also improving the City’s permit review processes, including:
Elimination of Permit Fees for Certain Housing Types
The ordinance will waive a total of 25 building permit fees for 15 different housing types. This will make housing development more affordable and accessible for residents, builders and developers in Port Angeles.
Building permit fees will be waived for single-family homes that are constructed through a recognized non-profit, local, state or federal low-income homeownership program. Labor participation will be required by the homeowner as part of these programs; those eligible include residents whose income is at 80% or below Area Median Income (AMI) for Clallam County.
The following housing types will also see waived fees:
- Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)
- Cottage Housing
- Caretaker Units
- Apartment Complexes
- Multifamily Housing
- Group Homes
- Permanent Supportive Housing
- Transitional Housing
- Emergency Housing
- Adult Family Homes
When pursing the above housing types, the fees waived include all of the following:
- Building Permit Fees
- Review Fees for Building Plans, Fire Plans, Planning Plans, and Public Works Siting Plans
- Additional Hourly Rate Fees
- Fire Development Fees
- Hearing Examiner Fees
- Archeological Review Fees
- SEPA Environmental Checklist Review
- Boundary Line Adjustment Fee
- Conditional Use Permit Fee
- Adoption of Previous NEPA and SEPA Documents
- Land Use Verification
- Locate Notice Review
- Lot Confirmation
- Overlay Zones
- Short Plats, Plats and Binding Site Plans
- Parking Variance
- Temporary Use Permits
- Zoning Lot Covenant
- Residential New Water Service Connection Charges and System Development Charges
- Electrical Utility Service Charges
- Sewer Connection Permits/Charges
- Storm Sewer/Drain Connection Charges
- Electrical Permits
- Multi-family Tax Exemption Program Application
Implementation of Performance Measures
As required by the ordinance, City staff will work with local stakeholders to implement Key Performance Indicators. These performance measures will be regularly reported to assess and improve the effectiveness, efficiency and transparency of the City’s permit review processes.
Future Development of Assistance Programs for Single Family Housing
During the ordinance development process, City Council Members highlighted the need for a hardship assistance program for residents who wish to modify their existing single-family homes. To address this need, City staff will develop and present such a program to the Council in 2024. This initiative will be focused solely on assisting current residents earning less than 80% of Area Median Income (AMI) through limited fee waivers, deferrals or reimbursements for projects related to the remodel or expansion of their single-family homes.
Also in 2024, staff will present to the Council a proposed permit fee reimbursement program for the construction of new, affordable single-family units within city limits. This program will be directed at projects for residents earning less than 80% of Area Median Income (AMI) and who are eligible for reimbursement under the Affordable Housing Sales Tax.
Fee Schedule Updates
The ordinance includes adjustments to fees that more accurately reflect the growing costs of services. The City’s General Fund currently subsidizes the development review process by $1.1 million per year. The ordinance will adjust these fees for the first time in over 15 years, lessoning the general fund subsidy, addressing increased costs of services, and bringing the City into better alignment with peer jurisdictions.
To balance the City’s budget, the ordinance will also increase fees relative to Cemetery and Fire services. The increases are not intended to generate additional revenue, rather they will simply offset the full costs of providing these services.
The complete list of fee adjustments is available on the City’s website. To learn more about this ordinance or the City’s effort to foster new housing development, please contact the Department of Community & Economic Development at (360) 417-4750 or email email@example.com.