Pasco seeks to help out developers

PASCO — Pasco is considering a new approach to help owners develop their property.

City code now requires property owners to install the public infrastructure needed to serve their property at the time of construction.

But in some cases that requirement means the property owner would pay a disproportionate share for the improvements, said Rick White, Pasco director of community and economic development, during Monday's Pasco City Council meeting.

The issue came up when the council decided to delay improving Crescent Road where one property owner wants to build a single-family home because none of the current methods for paying for the improvements seemed to fit.

White said the proposed option would apply when the council includes a road in the city's capital improvement plan and determines a project meets certain criteria, including having the road be a collector or minor or principal arterial, benefits more than a single property owner and allows a chance the city could recoup the cost.

The criteria means the option couldn't be applied to local access roads, said City Manager Gary Crutchfield.

The property owner would be allowed to develop the property before the infrastructure is in place, Crutchfield said. And the city would need to build the road in six years, White said.

The total amount of time the city has to recoup costs would be 21 years at most if it takes six years to build the road, and the city created a 15-year latecomer agreement for other properties which would benefit from the improvements, he said.

Councilwoman Rebecca Francik said the transfer of land from county to city isn't always seamless. This would help some property that was platted while it was unincorporated county land, and as city land, doesn't have the public infrastructure for development.

"We really are denying people the use of their property if we don't look at some of these mechanisms," she said.

Councilman Al Yenney said he found himself in a similar situation about 35 years ago, and he would have liked to have the procedure in place then.

"I think we would see a greater infill," Yenney said.

The city council will consider the proposal in November.

-- Kristi Pihl: 582-1512; kpihl@tricityherald.com