Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Bellevue reduces Strahorn annexation fees by $3.1 million

New study shows decrease in projected growth


By TONY EVANS
Express Staff Writer

    The Bellevue City Council last week voted to amend an annexation agreement with developer Jeff Pfaeffle to reduce by $3.1 million the fees associated with Strahorn subdivision.
    The reduction is based on a revised study of growth estimates and projected impacts on city services from the new development.
     About 100 acres in Slaughterhouse Canyon was annexed into the city five years ago for the subdivision. The development is expected to eventually bring 150 homes into the city.
    A study by Caplan Associates conducted in 2008 outlined the city services that would need to be funded due to the Strahorn development and for two other annexations that did not occur.
    Pfaeffle agreed in 2009 to give the city $5,146,300 in cash, property and city infrastructure improvements, mainly in exchange for hooking up to city services and being able to develop under city zoning codes.
    The annexation fees were expected to go to the Water & Sewer Department or to the general fund.      A new study by Caplan, published on April 30 and presented to the City Council on Aug. 18, shows that the Strahorn development alone would cost the city $1.66 million in city service improvements.
    Pfaeffle has already transferred about $2 million in property assets to the city.
    “I have overfunded the city, but I am not looking for anything back,” Pfaeffle said. “I want the city to do well. I want my project to do well in a city that is vibrant.”
    The amendment to the annexation agreement states that “[t]he city has determined … that the basis for the calculations utilized to determine the annexation fees were overstated.”
    The revised Caplan study predicts that by 2034, Bellevue will have an additional 807 residents, 404 in the Strahorn subdivision and 403 elsewhere in the city.  
    In other Bellevue news:
- The City Council on Aug. 18 voted to approve a budget of $3,052,479 for fiscal year 2015.    
Tony Evans: tevans@mtexpress.com




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