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Proposals Add to Cost of Homes

January 25, 2019

Proposed Transportation Funding Package
On Thursday, BIAW testified before the Senate Transportation Committee against a proposed, not in bill form yet, transportation funding package that included a real doozy of an idea – a $1 per-square-foot fee on new home construction. The proposed impact fee would be directed toward potential “transportation-related” projects to fund needed culvert repairs and improvements and carbon reduction programs. BIAW told the committee that the fee would add to the housing affordability crisis and that state law and case law prohibit the state from using impact fees for these purposes.

Higher Residential Energy Code Proposed
BIAW also testified against legislation sought by Governor Jay Inslee that would create far-reaching regulations for commercial and residential construction. While SB 5293 is primarily focused on commercial construction, the bill includes language that allows local governments to adopt their own energy codes above the state’s code. BIAW pointed out the importance of having one statewide code to ensure consistency and predictability of building code regulations.

Additionally, BIAW pointed out that the State Building Code Council has failed to conduct (as required by state law) an energy cost-savings assessment study for the 2012-2015 code cycle.

The bill is likely to advance from committee and BIAW is working to amend the bill to remove all residential-related language.

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