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A. Application For Traffic Impact Fee Exemption. Any developer applying for or receiving a building permit, which meets the criteria set forth in Subsection B below, may apply to the City Planner for an exemption from the traffic impact fee established pursuant to SMC 14.295.090. Said application shall be on forms provided by the City and shall be accompanied by all information and data the City deems necessary to process the application. To the extent it is authorized by law, the City shall endeavor to keep all proprietary information submitted with said application confidential, provided, however, that this ordinance shall not create or establish a special duty to do so.

B. Exemption Criteria. To be eligible for the traffic impact fee exemption, the applicant shall meet each of the following criteria:

1. The applicant must be a new commercial retail business within the Snohomish city limits that applies for a building permit or must be an existing commercial business that applies for a building permit for a major expansion of an existing building. For the purposes of this Section, “commercial retail business” shall mean any business, which sells retail goods and services that are subject to the retail sales tax provisions of Chapter 3.27 SMC and which is subject to payment of traffic impact fees pursuant to this Chapter.

2. Based on similar retail business sales or other reliable data, as determined by the City, the applicant must demonstrate that it is likely to generate to the City of Snohomish the City’s portion of sales and use tax revenue in the average annual amount of at least $100,000, based upon the three year period commencing from the date of the applicant’s certificate of occupancy. In the case of a major expansion of an existing business, the applicant must demonstrate that the expansion is likely to generate an increase of at least $100,000 more in average annual sales and use tax to the City than is generated by the applicant’s existing business.

3. The applicant must be a new retail business located within one of the following land use designations: Commercial, Historic Business District, Business Park, Industry, Airport Industry, and Mixed Use.

4. For the purposes of this Section, the applicant shall not be allowed to aggregate sales and use tax revenue from more than one business that the applicant owns or operates within the City.

5. At the time of application for the traffic impact fee exemption, the applicant shall not have paid, or have been obligated to have paid, the traffic impact fee required under this Chapter.

C. Administration of Traffic Impact Fee Exemption.

1. Upon the City’s acceptance of an application for exemption from traffic impact fees pursuant to Subsection A above, the applicant shall pay to the City the full amount of the traffic impact fees required pursuant to SMC 14.295.090. Following receipt of the traffic impact fees, the City shall deposit the fees in the Traffic Impact Fee Fund (124) and shall manage the traffic impact fees as set forth in this Chapter.

2. At the expiration of a three year period commencing from the date of the applicant’s certificate of occupancy, the City Treasurer shall determine if the average annual amount of the City’s portion of sales and use tax revenue received from the applicant’s business by the City meets the minimum amount stated in Subsection B2 above. The determination shall be based upon the administration and collection requirements of Chapter 3.27 SMC as now or hereafter amended.

3. In the event that the three year average annual amount of the City’s portion of sales and use tax revenue from the applicant’s business is at least $100,000, or in the case of a major expansion of an existing business the three year annual average is at least $100,000 more than the prior year, there shall be an exemption of 25% from the traffic impact fees otherwise due pursuant to SMC 14.295.090. In such case, 25% of the amount paid to the City pursuant to Subsection C1 above shall be refunded to the applicant, plus any accrued interest. The remainder of the funds deposited pursuant to Subsection C1 above shall belong to the City.

4. In the event that the applicant’s three year annual average sales and use tax revenue to the City is at least $200,000, or in the case of a major expansion of an existing business the three year annual average is at least $200,000 more than the prior year, the applicant shall receive an exemption, which shall result in a refund of 50% of the amount paid to the City pursuant to Section C1 above, plus any accrued interest. The remainder of the funds deposited pursuant to Section C1 above shall belong to the City.

5. In the event that the applicant’s three year annual average sales and use tax revenue to the City is at least $300,000, or in the case of a major expansion of an existing business the three year annual average is at least $300,000 more than the prior year, the applicant shall receive an exemption, which shall result in a refund of 75% of the amount paid to the City pursuant to Section C1 above, plus any accrued interest. The remainder of the funds deposited pursuant to Section C1 above shall belong to the City.

6. In the event that the applicant does not generate at least a three year average annual sales and use tax revenue of $100,000, or in the case of a major expansion of an existing business at least a three year annual average of $100,000, the entire traffic impact fee required under SMC 14.295.090 shall belong to the City.

7. Determinations of the amounts set forth in this Section shall be made by the City Treasurer, which determinations shall be appealable as set forth in Subsection E.

D. Deposits and Refunds of Sales and Use Tax Revenue.

1. Sales and use tax revenues in the amount annually required to meet the traffic impact fee exemption level for which the applicant qualifies under this Section shall be deposited in the Reserve for Traffic Impact Fee Fund (125), which is hereby created. All sales and use tax revenues in excess of the amount annually required to meet the traffic impact fee exemption level for which the applicant qualifies under this Section shall remain in the City’s General Fund (001) and may be expended for any lawful purpose as directed by the City Council.

2. At the end of an applicant’s three year period, or in the case of a major expansion of an existing business at the end of an applicant’s three year period, the City Treasurer shall determine the amount of refund to be paid the applicant. Refunds shall be paid from the Reserve for Traffic Impact Fee Fund (125).

E. Appeals. Any applicant aggrieved by the determination of the City as to whether the exemption criteria of Subsection B have been met or as to the amount of a refund to which an applicant is entitled pursuant to Subsections C and D, may file a written appeal to the City’s Land Use Hearing Examiner, in the same manner as appeals of City Planner determinations as set forth in Chapters 14.20 and 14.95 SMC. The City Examiner is hereby specifically authorized to hear and decide such appeals, and the decision of the Hearing Examiner shall be final action of the City and shall be subject to appeal pursuant to Chapter 14.20 SMC. (Ord. 2085, 2005)

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