The Pierce County Superior Court upheld a decision to allow a waiver for school impact fees for a senior living development.
Rosedale Village, LLC, will not have to pay school impact fees, something the Peninsula School District has collected from other developments.
Rosedale Village is a housing development that caters to those age 55 and older. Norpoint Communities, the group that developed Rosedale Village, applied for a waiver of impact fees in Gig Harbor last fall.
The Gig Harbor Hearing Examiner granted the waiver, which the school district then appealed in county court.
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The school district will now pursue legislative options, Superintendent Chuck Cuzzetto said. It does not plan on appealing the court’s latest decision.
Cuzzetto said the district will work with state legislators to clarify impact fee ordinances and rules.
“We think all developments are impacts,” Cuzzetto said. “We think that it’s only fair that everybody participate in them.”
While developments designed for seniors do not bring children, they do bring people to the area that will benefit from good schools and from school facilities, Cuzzetto said.
“I think it’s hard when it would be a complete legislative change,” said Todd Steel, co-founder of Norpoint Communities.
Rosedale Village is comprised of 79 apartment homes. Outside of Norpoint Communities’ development, other developments for seniors are headed to the area.
Heron’s Key is currently being developed by Emerald Communities and will bring 170 independent living apartments, 10 cottages, 12 assisted living suites and 45 private rooms. It will be a 17-acre complex.
“I’m a small fish here,” Steel said, referring to the future developments in the area.
In the past, Norpoint has not had to deal with impact fees for senior housing, therefore there was no budget for paying them. That’s why the developers petitioned for a waiver, Steel said.
The money from impact fees helps house unhoused students. In the past the district has used the funds to purchase portables and in the building of Henderson Bay High School.
Most notably, impact fees were used to purchase a plot of land in Gig Harbor North to build a new school, should a bond or levy pass.