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Who should pay for the impact of development?

Highline Schools ask developers to pay their fair share

By Lindsay Peyton

Highline Public Schools is asking developers to help cover some of the costs they create when they pave the way for new families to move into the district.

Duggan Harman, chief of staff and finance, explained that the district has proposed asking the City of Burien to collect “impact fees” from new developments.

“Voters don’t want Highline Schools to go to them first for funding,” he said. “They want to make sure we have exhausted all of our resources and that developers are paying for the impact of their developments.”

The proposed fee for a single-family residence would be $7,528 and $6,691 for a multi-family dwelling.

Harman explained that a number of other cities already have impact fees in place.

“We have an obligation to serve all students, no matter if they move into existing houses or new construction,” Harman said. “More development means more students. The developers should have to pay for some amount of the impact they are bringing in.”

Harman said that the fees would be used toward capital expenses, specifically for construction of new schools and repairs and additions to existing campuses.

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