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BOMA Seattle King County

  

 

 

Featured Issue - BOMA Advocacy:

Waterfront Local Improvement District (LID)

After literally years of engagement with the City’s Office of the Waterfront BOMA, along with our coalition partners, was able to address our major concerns via contractual commitments from the City.

 

1.      LID Assessment.  Initially the LID assessment was projected to be $350 million.  In 2014, partly as a result of pressure from our group, it was reduced to $200 million. The City’s appraisal valued the special benefits at $420 million.

Through our efforts we were able to reduce the LID assessments by 20%, for a maximum of $160 million, and imposes a cap on that amount, so that the City cannot increase assessments in the future.

 

2.      Operations and Maintenance of the Waterfront Park.  Represented the greatest concern to our members, especially considering the City’s track record on parks maintenance as well as the current conditions on downtown streets.  Areas of concern and resolution:

Funding.  The City’s O&M budget for the project of $4.8 million in 2023, with no long-term commitments to support this funding, and no protections for funding during economic downturns.

We were able to get a City commitment of $4.8 million/yr. (escalating annually) 20 years.  In addition, we negotiated restrictions on funding reduction during economic downturns and requirements to restore funding when the economy improves.

 

Performance and Security.  The LID bases assessments on capital cost benefits, but we argued that whether the Park is a benefit will really depend upon the quality of its operations.  The LID included no assurances as to operations.

We included provisions for a Performance Standard based on Park Rules and best park practices from other iconic parks across the country.  Park Rules prohibit camping and other listed behaviors in parks. we established a special review trigger if violations of Park Rules increase by more than 10% in any year.

 

Oversight. The LID had no mechanism for oversight, to ensure that performance and O&M standards were met.

Our agreement establishes the Oversight Committee, with a majority of members being property owners and related stakeholders, to oversee waterfront park operations.  The Oversight Committee will be involved in budgeting, review under the Performance Standard, and review of the Park operator.

 

Enforcement.  The LID had no enforcement mechanism to protect the owners.

The LID Agreement will be enforced by an owners’ association called the Waterfront Park Conservancy.  The Conservancy will be a non-profit controlled solely by the owners.  Our deal provides for a specific performance remedy if the City defaults.

Term.  Term on the O&M provisions will be 20 years, consistent with the term of the LID.

3.      Future Assessments.  State law allows the City to impose additional future assessments under the LID, up to the $420 million maximum if the City experiences cost overruns during the construction of the special benefit items.

 

We obtained a waiver from the City on its right to increase the LID amount in the future.

 

Link to City’s Website that includes information about the LID, including the assessment map and current schedule.  https://waterfrontseattle.org/lid

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