The Tualatin City Council voted on changes to their parks system development charges (SDC) methodology and fees this week. The Council voted 4-2 in support of the methodology. Because the vote was not unanimous, the ordinance will be read a third time and passed at the next city council business meeting. The HBA attended the City Council meeting and provided testimony on the proposed increase, addressing issues with the methodology and stressing the negative impacts of an increased fee. The newly approved methodology supports a maximum justifiable Park SDC fee for single family homes of $15,409, $11,486 per unit for multifamily dwellings, and commercial fee of $3.88 per square foot of the building being constructed. The current fee is $5,565. In testimony, the HBA reviewed both the Parks & Recreation Master Plan and the Parks SDC methodology. The Master Plan identifies the current deficiencies in the Tualatin parks system. According to the Master Plan, 6,909 current Tualatin residents (26%) don’t meet the target standard of having park land within a half mile from their home. The SDC methodology proposes to have new residents covering the cost to provide for parks necessary to serve the current population, not just new growth. The target level of service in the proposed methodology goes above and beyond the intention of system development charges. Additionally, the HBA expressed concerns with the proposed methodology weighing non-resident employees in Tualatin as a major factor in the need for more parks. While the HBA agrees that it is equitable policy to require commercial business to pay for its fair share of impacts to the system, the methodology suggests that non-resident employees will spend on average almost two hours a day in local parks. Using this assumption to determine the City’s need for parks to meet their target level of service results in a much more costly Capital Improvement Plan. The HBA asked the City Council not to approve the SDC methodology and to keep the current rate for its parks SDC, and explore different means to pay for the projects necessary to meet the desired level of service for parks. Because there was not a majority vote on the methodology, the City Council will vote on the proposal again in January. Tualatin has chosen to adopt a methodology for the system development charge separately from the adoption of an SDC rate for Parks. The council currently plans to meet in March to determine the system development charge rates that will be effective July 1, 2019.