Cityweighs deferral of developer fees

Published on Thu, Jul 19, 2007 by ara Nelson

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City weighs deferral of developer fees

By Tara Nelson

Two amendments proposed by Blaine City Manager Gary Tomsic would allow city officials to defer certain fees for development projects.

In their regular meeting Monday, Blaine City Council discussed amendments to the Blaine municipal code that would allow developers to defer fees for utility, water and sewer connections to commercial and residential developments for up to two years or until the projects were completed

The proposals come after a request from developers Art Weiner and Rick Osburn to defer approximately $90,000 in building permit and utility fees for the Harborside building project planned for H Street and Peace Portal Drive.

Tomsic said the deferral was requested to assist in making the project more economically practical in the short-term and, although potentially risky, could help encourage other development in Blaine’s central business district.

“I believe that the city should explore ways to support those investors who are willing to be pioneers and take the risk,” he said. “A fee deferral program has little direct impact on the city’s finances but it helps in a small way and sends a message of support.”

The council voted 5-0 to schedule a public hearing on Monday, July 23.