Monday, October 16, 2006

US Supreme Court declines to review Washington development-fee case

"The Supreme Court refused on Monday to consider a significant new issue on the government's power to demand civic contributions from developers as a condition for getting permits to build new projects. In a brief order, the Court turned down a case from Washington State testing whether the Constitution puts limits on local officials' power to impose a fee on a new project to offset the cost of added public services.

The appeal contended that, in this case, the "impact fees" were not tailored to the actual impact of the proposed apartment project on traffic flows. The issue in the case of Drebick v. City of Olympia (06-223) was whether the Constitution requires that any such fees must be based only upon an individual project's actual impact on public services, and must be "proportional" in size to the specific impact of that project. "