Waterfront Seattle presents an opportunity to reinvest in Seattle and its future. The City is planning a Local Improvement District (LID) as a key component of the funding strategy, as identified in the Waterfront Strategic Plan and adopted by City Council Resolution 31399 in 2012.

A LID is a funding tool by which property owners financially contribute to a project that will increase the value of their property. LIDs are used by cities and local jurisdictions to fund public projects in the State of Washington and are governed by specific state and local laws.

The Waterfront Seattle LID will enable property owners to financially contribute to a portion of the improvement costs based on increases in their property value that are directly attributable to the waterfront improvements to be made as part of Waterfront Seattle. Learn more about the Waterfront Seattle improvements Program.

The Waterfront Seattle LID is one funding mechanism among many. LID funding will support the park, public space and pedestrian improvements implemented by the Waterfront Seattle Program. Learn more about the Waterfront Seattle funding plan.

The City completed a LID feasibility study in August 2017. Download the LID feasibility study to learn more.

LID process

There are several steps to forming a LID which include extensive public engagement throughout the process. Updated information about the LID and assessment will be available online.

In August 2017, the City completed a LID feasibility study, which provides an initial estimate of the overall range in special benefit resulting from Waterfront Seattle improvements. The feasibility analysis is limited and provides a general estimate for the overall special benefit provided by LID-funded waterfront improvements. It does not include any analysis of property-specific special benefit. Download the LID feasibility study to learn more.

Between September 2017 – February 2018, the City will conduct a special benefit study to determine the LID boundary and the "before" and "after" values for each property in the study area. "Special benefit" is defined as the estimated increase in a property’s fair market value as a direct result of improvements in the Waterfront Seattle Program. The more detailed special benefit study will include a parcel-by-parcel analysis of all properties within the study area.

Following the completion of the special benefit study in mid-2018, the Seattle City Council will vote to form the LID. The formation process is expected will to begin in mid-2018 and assessments are expected to begin in late-2019.

LID process schedule

August 2017

  • Independent appraiser conducts LID feasibility study to provide an initial estimate of the overall range in special benefit from Waterfront Seattle improvements
  • Briefings held with property owners and stakeholders
  • LID website launched

Fall 2017 – Spring 2018

  • Independent appraiser conducts preliminary special benefit study to determine "before" and "after" property values in study area
  • Briefings held with property owners and stakeholders
  • Public open houses held throughout study area
  • Online portal launched with estimated assessments for property owners

Spring – Fall 2018

  • Council announces intent to form (by resolution)
  • Notification and hearing(s)
  • Council establishes LID (by ordinance)
  • 30-day protest period
  • 30-day appeal period

Early 2019

  • Council announces assessment role hearing(s) (by resolution)
  • Notification and hearing(s)
  • Council confirmation of assessment roll (by ordinance)
  • 10-day appeal period

Late 2019

  • Property owners receive collection notices (option to pay in total or to finance over the life of the bond – 20 years)

LID study area

The green boundary depicts the current LID study area. The Waterfront Seattle Program within the LID study area is outlined in pink, with LID-funded elements numbered.

This study area does not depict final LID boundaries, and does not mean that all properties in the boundary will be assessed. Proposed LID boundaries will be set after the special benefit study is complete. Each property within the green boundary is included in the special benefit study and will have an individual appraisal of special benefit.

Properties within the study area that receive a special benefit as a result of the Waterfront Seattle LID-funded improvements will be asked to pay a portion of that special benefit in the form of an assessment, with the remaining special benefit staying with the property. Property owners will have the option to pay the assessment in total (without interest) or to finance the assessment over 20 years (with interest). Once the LID is formed and the assessments in place, the City will issue bonds to finance the waterfront improvement.

LID feasibility study

Contact us

If you would like to sign-up for LID updates or have questions or comments, please provide them below. Please leave your email or phone number if you would like us to follow up with you.

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For questions regarding the LID, please contact Joshua Curtis, Partnerships Manager at the Office of the Waterfront: 206.615.0187