A. The current owner of property on which an impact fee has been paid may receive a refund of such fees if the City fails to expend or encumber the impact fees within six years of when the fees were paid on public facilities intended to benefit the development activity for which the impact fees were paid. This 6-year period may be extended by City Council, based on extraordinary and compelling reasons, which shall be identified in written findings approved by City Council. In determining whether impact fees have been encumbered, impact fees shall be considered encumbered on a first in, first out basis. The amount to be refunded shall include the interest earned by this portion of the account from the date that it was deposited into the impact fee fund.
B. An owner may request and shall receive a refund, including interest earned on the impact fees, when:
1. The owner does not proceed to finalize the development activity as required by statute or City code or the Uniform Building Code; and
2. The City has not expended or encumbered the impact fees prior to the application for a refund. In the event that the City 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 against any then-existing park impact fee requirement. The owner must petition the City in writing 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 this chapter.
C. The City shall provide for the refund of fees according to the requirements of this section and RCW 82.02.080.
1. The City shall notify potential claimants of the refund availability by first-class mail deposited with the United States Postal Service addressed to the owner of the property as shown in the Snohomish County Assessor’s property records.
2. An owner’s request for a refund must be submitted to the City Finance Director 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. Notice is considered given on the date of mailing by the City.
D. Any impact fees that are not expended or encumbered within six years of their receipt by the City, and for which no application for a refund has been made within this one-year period, shall be retained by the City and expended consistent with the provisions of this chapter.
E. If the City seeks to terminate park impact fee requirements, all unexpended or unencumbered funds, including interest earned, shall be refunded pursuant to this section. 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 to the last known address of claimants. 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 indicated public facilities. This notice requirement shall not apply if there are no unexpended or unencumbered balances within the account being terminated.