Local Improvement Districts (LIDs) may be formed when:
- property owners petition the City for the purpose of constructing and funding public improvements in their neighborhood, or
- at times a Local Improvement District may be formed when the City determines that improvements are necessary.
Special assessments to those properties benefiting from the improvements are implemented by the City through the formation of an LID. Typical improvements made through the LID process are streets, water lines, sewers, sidewalks, and traffic signals.
Why does Albany have Local Improvement Districts?
The LID provides a mechanism to coordinate installation and funding of improvements between one or more property owners. LIDs are initiated either by written petition from property owners or directly by Council as outlined in the following examples:
- Council may desire to require installation of public improvements that are considered essential to the welfare of the city, i.e. installation of sidewalks in previously developed areas, and shall initiate an LID to construct and assess the sidewalk costs to adjacent property owners.OR
- When 80% of the benefiting property owners which would benefit from the improvement construction of a particular public improvement, they may petition Council to initiate an LID to construct the improvements and assess those costs to the benefiting properties.
How a L.I.D. Becomes Established
The City Charter and Municipal Code outline the procedures for establishing LIDs. The general process is:
- Council directs preparation of an initial engineer's report and financial investigation in response to Council initiative or property owner petition. (AMC 15.04.010)
- Reports are prepared by staff or consultant which outlines project scope, estimated costs, and recommends assessment methodology. A neighborhood meeting is usually held to share the information with property owners prior to submitting the engineer's report to Council. (AMC 15.020,030)
- Council accepts engineer's report and financial investigation and schedules a public hearing (usually scheduled for the next meeting). (AMC 15.04.040)
- Council holds a Public Hearing to initiate the improvement. If the LID proceeds, Council adopts engineer's report and financial investigation. A remonstrance by two-thirds of the property to be assessed will delay initiation of the improvements for six months. (AMC 15.04.080)
- Any lot that has an outstanding petition and waiver relating to specific improvements shall be deemed to have relinquished their right to remonstrance and as such be counted as supporting the improvement.
- The project is designed, bid, and constructed in accordance with state law for public contracting.
- Upon project completion, staff will develop a proposed assessment ordinance and schedule a public hearing. (AMC 15.04.110(1))
- The staff will notify all affected property owners of the proposed final assessment. (AMC 15.04.110(2)).
- The Council shall conduct the public hearing to consider any objections to the proposed assessment and to reach a final determination on the proper manner to allocate the cost. (AMC 15.04.110(3))
- Upon adoption of the assessment ordinance, staff shall notify each affected property owner of their specific cost. (AMC 15.04.120)
Remonstrance, Petition and Waiver
A remonstrance is a No vote by the property owner to formation of the LID.
A non-remonstrance is either a Yes vote or an agreement to not vote No to the formation of the LID.
What is a Petition and Waiver?
A petition and waiver is an agreement between the City and a property owner in which the property owner agrees to be included in a future LID should the City Council determine it necessary. It is recorded on the title for the affected lot by the original property owner and runs with the title such that subsequent owners are also obligated to the formation of the LID should Council so direct. It allows the original land owner to delay the associated improvement from the time of development to a future date. The obligation is generally documented in the title report associated with each lot.
How L.I.D. Assessments Are Paid
The assessments can be paid in one of two methods:
Upon receiving notice of the assessment, the property owner may make a single payment for the value of the assessment.
Upon receiving notice of the assessment, the property owner may sign up to make semi-annual payments over a 10-year period. The payments include the principle plus interest on the unpaid balance. The interest rate is established by the Finance Department.