Latest News: June 2009

Budget stalls plans for better roads in Orange
Orlando Sentinel, FL - June 30, 2009
Because roads are so costly, counties and cities plan these projects long in advance. The five-year capital blueprint for Orange County carries a $520 million price tag, and it relies in part on fees that developers are expected to pay. The fees are intended to offset...

Supervisors want to suspend impact fees 6/17
Plumas County Newspapers - Plumas County, CA - June 30, 2009
The action is an attempt to encourage any citizens who are considering a building project to move forward immediately, rather than waiting a month for the board's next meeting. The fees amount to $1,392 per dwelling unit, $193 per 1,000 square feet for...

Council to adopt town spending plan tonight
AZ Central.com, AZ - June 30, 2009
The development impact fee moratorium survived negotiations between the governor and state legislators to resolve their differences over the state budget. Proponents say it will give a much-needed shot in the arm to Arizona's ailing new home...

Bonita puts about 80 homeowners on notice for sewer hookups
Naples Daily News, FL - June 30, 2009
The deadline is approaching for some Bonita Springs homeowners who have yet to ditch their septic systems for sewer hookups. Bonita Springs Utilities put about 80 homeowners on notice that they need to sign up or pay up. Letters mailed in May notified...

Kane board members question waiving fees to draw development
Aurora Beacon News - Elgin, IL - June 29, 2009
Aiston recommended that the county consider waiving transportation impact fees and stormwater detention fees in order to provide extra incentives for developers to bring their business here. Board member Bonnie Lee Kunkel, D-Aurora, was not convinced that waiving...

Troy may agree to cut fees
Joliet Herald News - Joliet, IL - June 29, 2009
The fees on new construction were established to offset the impact of students entering the school system prior to the first tax bills issued on the home. The fees are based on the number of bedrooms and whether it is a single-family or multifamily residence. ...

Stumbling Toward Shutdown
Tucson Weekly, AZ - June 29, 2009
Rather than a moratorium on impact fees overall, they propose a two-year moratorium on the imposition a new development impact fee and on any increase in existing development impact fee. God forbid that the cities actually recover the costs of these...

Time to slice and dice: Collier commission begins budget talks Monday
Naples Daily News - Naples, FL - June 28, 2009
Impact fees are dollars paid by developers to offset, and compensate for, the effects of growth in any particular neighborhood. Looking at it from a neighborhood standpoint, in 2008, Feder counted on $15.4 million for roadwork in East Naples and Golden Gate. ...

Home builders' study fails to make the case
Hilton Head Island Packet, SC - June 28, 2009
The study was presented as support for killing the proposed school impact fee legislation. Our senator, Tom Davis, withdrew the proposed school impact fee bill over opposition of real estate agencies and builders. Tom is a real estate lawyer with something...

Florida counties shelve impact fees to help builders
Business Journal, FL - June 26, 2009
Four Northeast Florida counties are suspending their impact fees in an effort to stimulate development and the economy. “They have rolled fees to help businesses,” said Doug Baxter, the president of the Flagler County Chamber of Commerce & Affiliates. ...

Impact - fee cuts would worsen glut
Arizona Republic, Phoenix, AZ - June 25, 2009
Are lawmakers nuts? Why on Earth would anyone want to reduce or eliminate impact fees now?  As the home builders themselves admit, this would only encourage them to build more houses.  We already have more houses for sale than anyone wants to buy. How could...

Council Green Lights Huge Sewer Rate Increase
Mesquite Local News - Mesquite, NV - June 25, 2009
"I've got real issues with bumping the impact fee up front here," Bennett said. "I hate to see impact fees go up 40, 50, 60%. I'm worried about it hitting right in the middle of the current economic conditions. I'd rather see us go halfway in January, the rest of the...

Fear of Rio Blanco-style energy impact fees colored Garfield County election
The Colorado Independent - June 24, 2009
An impact fee support study conducted in 2007 estimated the county would have collected $22.7 million had the fee been in place during the heart of the boom (from 2000 to 2006). Over the next 15 years, when Rio Blanco expects to see another 16,500...

Impact fees ensure growth pays for itself
Arizona Daily Star, AZ - June 24, 2009
Arizona cities and towns have required growth to pay for a percentage of the cost through development impact fees, and that seemed fair to all involved. But, in fact, today's impact fees don't cover the full cost of growth. To sustain a community takes more...

City development fees may be altered to kick-start building
The San Francisco Examiner, CA - June 24, 2009
Building in San Francisco means paying money up front to help fund neighborhood services and improvements — a practice that could be altered to help stimulate construction activity. San Francisco levies a wide range of development impact fees, which are...

Revised impact fee schedule released
Read It Here - Prescott, AZ - June 23, 2009
Impact fees collected for new water and sewer facilities are necessary to serve new growth. These projects often include capacity augmentation which provide service improvement to customers in our existing neighborhoods. "When a water main is...

County to keep fees down, cut Building Department
Fernandina Beach News - Leader, FL - June 23, 2009
The Nassau County Commission voted Wednesday to keep reduced building permit fees and suspended impact fees.  The permit fees, and portions of the impact fees, are used to fund the Nassau County Building Department - which has been operating at a...

2500 school impact fee OK'd
Charleston Post Courier, SC - June 23, 2009
New home builders in the rapidly growing suburban area around town now must pay an extra $2,500 per house to help cover the cost of building new schools. The Dorchester District 2 school board on Monday unanimously approved a resolution to levy the school...

Corvallis grapples with impact fees
The Missoulian, MT - June 23, 2009
Ravalli County's growth rate has slowed considerably since the 1990s when it was the fastest-growing county in the state.  But community leaders say further population growth is inevitable, so they're asking: Who should pay for capital improvements required...

Aurora citizens look to triple fees on new home construction
Face The State - Denver, CO - June 23, 2009
The City and County of Denver recently waived fees for some building permits, with citizens clearing the way for over $6 million in construction spending. Meanwhile, a group of Aurora citizens are working to place an initiative on the November ballot that would...

Aurora citizens look to triple fees on new home construction
Face The State - Denver, CO - June 23, 2009
The City and County of Denver recently waived fees for some building permits, with citizens clearing the way for over $6 million in construction spending. Meanwhile, a group of Aurora citizens are working to place an initiative on the November ballot that would...

Town lays off 8; council to consider more cuts
Easy Valley Tribune - Mesa, AZ - June 22, 2009
Queen Creek handed out eight layoff notices to town employees last week, one of the last steps in the process to cut $3.1 million out of the budget.  While this round of cuts is over, the Town Council will meet Thursday to determine what more could be cut out if some...

VIEWPOINT/Pat Keogh, Phil Griffin/Fernandina Beach
Fernandina Beach News-Leader, FL - June 22, 2009
Suspend impact fees, reexamine policies.  Now is the time to suspend city impact fees and make significant changes whenever they Suspend impact fees, reexamine policies are reinstated. There should not be much question that our city economy is suffering and it...

Surprise layoffs possible if governor oks proposed budget
Arizona Republic - Phoenix, AZ - June 19, 2009
A grim scenario could play out if Gov. Jan Brewer approves the state budget in its current form, Surprise's legislative liaison says. Surprise could face layoffs, cancel some capital projects and raise property tax rates, said Michael Celaya, the city's Intergovernmental...

Park impact fees take hike in city
Pinnacle News - Hollister, CA - June 19, 2009
For the first time in 20 years, the City of Hollister has increased the fees it charges builders to help fund parks projects in the city.  The City Council this week voted to raise the existing park development fee for new developments from $1,123 per parcel to a two-tiered...

Belleview adjusts its policy on impact-fee calculations
Ocala - Ocala, FL - June 19, 2009
During its two most recent meetings, the City Commission adjusted policy on impact-fee calculations, lessened gardening restrictions and said their effort to attract new business is now visible, with city signage. In adjusting the policy on impact-fee calculations, ...

Board hears feedback on fees
Charleston Post Courier, SC - June 17, 2009
The current plan for levying the fee, which homebuilders will have to pay on new homes in the rapidly growing neighborhoods around town, requires that it be paid before a certificate of occupancy is issued for the new dwelling. But Auxt wants the Dorchester...

Officials: State budget could have dire impact on Avondale
AZ Central.com, AZ - June 17, 2009
If the state Legislature's budget should be approved, the consequences would be devastating to Avondale, Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers said Monday. Her concern is shared by the City Council and city manager. In a high-stakes game of state-budget chicken, the...

Council to seek court rulilng on real estate tax
Sequim Gazette, WA - June 17, 2009
The city will ask a judge to rule whether real estate excise taxes can be used to fund impact fee rate studies. At its June 8 meeting, the city council unanimously authorized City Attorney Craig Ritchie to seek the "declaratory judgment," which probably will be done in...

Commission rejects impact-fee increase
Ocala, FL - June 17, 2009
Despite recommendations to raise the fees from both their own staff and the school district, and a lack of public opposition from the building industry, the commission voted down the increase 3-2. No one from the public spoke in favor of or against the increase during...

EV mayors sound alarm over budget hits
East Valley Tribune - Mesa, AZ - June 17, 2009
Three East Valley mayors held a press conference Wednesday in an attempt to raise awareness among residents about the potential impact of the ongoing state budget battle on city finances. John Insalaco, Apache Junction mayor, said his city had been anticipating...

Impact fees jump to help fund future park projects
Hollister Free Lance - Hollister, CA - June 17, 2009
For the first time in 20 years, the City of Hollister has increased the fees it charges builders to help fund parks projects in the city. The Hollister City Council this week voted to raise the existing park development fee for new developments from $1,123 per parcel...

Borasky prefers keeping impact fees
Pahrump Valley Times - Pahrump, NV - June 17, 2009
In his opinion, the most immediate affect of repealing impact fees would be, "this source of future revenues would be eliminated and either the taxpayers would have to make up the difference or the levels of service would diminish since the facilities...

Century Considers a Business Impact Fee, Public School Plan
NorthEscambia.com - near Pensacola, FL - June 17, 2009
Opening a business along Highway 29 or East Highway 4 in Century could cost more; the town is opting out of a county public school plan; and Century is looking at $1.1 million to improve drainage problem along a portion of Highway 29. The town council has considered...

Water and Sewer Impact Fees Hiked
The Ledger - Lakeland, FL - June 16, 2009
The municipal impact fee ordinance requires an annual review and limits increases to the rise in construction costs based on a respected national index of construction costs, City Attorney John Murphy said. The base residential fee will go to $1,285 from $1,226...

Traffic impact being considered
Florida Today - Melbourne, FL - June 16, 2009
That caused city leaders to think about starting their own impact fee, Planning Director Christy Fischer said. The city also found out the county is refunding impact fees paid to projects that already are built but have not yet received permits to open. That means...

Bakersfield City Council to vote on traffic impact fees
KGET 17 - Bakersfield, CA - June 16, 2009
Traffic impact fee would jump from just over $7,000 per home to nearly $13,000. Revenue generated by the fees would be used as local matching funds required to secure some $630-million for the Thomas Road Improvement Program, a network of transportation...

Push to revisit impact fees falls short
Sun Newspapers - June 16, 2009
After further consideration, Charlotte County's new tiered impact fees will remain in place. A push to revote on last week's divisive issue fell flat, thwarted Tuesday by the technicalities of the county charter. It all started at the end of Tuesday's land-use meeting, ...

Impact fees gone for a year
Tampa Tribune, FL - June 16, 2009
But, Bates said, suspending impact fees will be "worthless" unless people and businesses in this county actually start spending money on construction projects. Bates said county government can put unemployed people back to work, too, by going ahead...

Proposed ABQ impact fee moratorium stirs debate on development
The New Mexico Independent - Albuquerque, NM - June 15, 2009
The Albuquerque City Council will soon take up the issue of whether a moratorium on impact fees makes sense given the new construction in the city over the last year. And it’s a subject that has already reignited a long-simmering debate about how to best manage...

County considers impact fee increase
Ocala, FL - June 14, 2009
Marion County's impact fees might be going up. And, for once, local builders are O.K. with it.  But builders say they will remain watchful to make sure Marion County remains competitive in offering people a place to live and launch a business. The County Commission on...

Impact fee exemption policy set
Morgan County Citizen, GA - June 12, 2009
Madison City Council members unanimously approved last Monday a document outlining potential exemptions to its new impact fee policy.  The policy is meant to allow council members some leeway in assessing impact fees-fees paid by developers as pro-rata shares...

Commissioners Review 'Green' Initiatives
The Ledger - Lakeland, FL - June 12, 2009
County commissioners got a glimpse Friday of some of the issues that are emerging as Polk County tries to expand green initiatives. The initiatives include a proposed green building ordinance, redrawing of urban growth boundaries to preserve more green space, changes in...

Suit challenges Mesa cultural impact fees
East Valley Tribune - Mesa, AZ - June 12, 2009
Mesa and conservative think tank the Goldwater Institute await a court decision on whether the city can charge impact fees for cultural facilities.  Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Douglas Rayes heard from both sides Friday involving a lawsuit filed in...

Impact fees too often a fallback for local governments, economist says
Naples Daily News, FL - June 11, 2009
On Thursday yet another voice was added to the Collier County growth and impact fee discussion.  Elliot Eisenberg, senior economist for the National Association of Home Builders, presented his report on growth in Collier County to a group of more than 100 community...

Keep impact fee plan out of state budget
East Valley Tribune - Mesa, AZ - June 11, 2009
The Valley’s homebuilders might have a great argument for a bit of fiscally responsible economic stimulus — suspend those hefty impact fees that cities and counties charge, which can increase the price of a house by up to $20,000.  Give people a chance to buy...

Milpitas traffic impact fees could offset Calaveras widening
Milpitas Post, CA - June 10, 2009
A planned $55-million Calaveras Boulevard widening project on the books for the last few years needs to obtain more funding before it can advance. That money may come from commercial and residential development expected along the route.  City officials say the...

County: Rail terminal's impact fees difficult to track
News Chief, FL - June 10, 2009
Representatives from the county and CSX say they are pleased to have a blueprint for calculating future impact fees related to the planned rail terminal in Winter Haven, but stress that current dollar amounts may change before the site is developed.  The county...

Loss of impact fee money would hurt Mesa residents
AZ Central.com, AZ - June 10, 2009
Mesa residents will pay higher-than-expected water and sewer bills in the future if the state slaps a three-year moratorium on development impact fees.  The ban is included in a pile of bills passed late last week as the Legislature approved its budget for the 2010 fiscal...

Leaders oppose moratorium on impact fees
Arizona Republic, AZ - June 10, 2009
Arizona home builders say a proposed three-year moratorium on development impact fees will stimulate development and reduce housing costs. But West Valley leaders fear it will mean even less money for communities and is a move away from the philosophy...

Collier commissioners say they won't meet with legislators
Naples Daily News, FL - June 9, 2009
For the first time that anyone can remember, the Collier County Commission will not hold a post-legislative workshop with the county's Southwest Florida delegation.  Commissioners are so ticked off by how legislators voted in the Tallahassee session that just...

Housing contribution: 'Extortion' or charity?
Payson Roundup, UT - June 9, 2009
On a split vote Thursday, the Payson Town Council eliminated a system that asked developers to make a “voluntary” contribution to an affordable housing fund at the same time they received their approvals to build.  Council critics of the system that has raised...

State plan could force higher Chandler water rates
Arizona Republic, AZ - June 9, 2009
Chandler is set to raise water and sewer rates for the second time in two years on Thursday, but residents could see their bills go up even higher if a three-year moratorium on development impact fees stays in the state budget. Management Services...

Tiered impact fees approved
Sun newspapers, FL - June 9, 2009
Nearly two years in the making, Charlotte County's new tiered impact fee structure needed one more last-second push to gain approval from the County Commission Tuesday.  In a 3-2 vote -- with Chairwoman Tricia Duffy swayed in its favor from the dais...

El Dorado County to hold lline on traffic impact fees
Sacramento Bee, CA - June 7, 2009
El Dorado County will hold the line on traffic impact fees charged for new development.  The Board of Supervisors last week agreed not to boost fees, although estimated costs for road projects needed to serve growth over the next 10 years have increased...

City delays builder fees to help out
Grand Junction Sentinel, CO - June 7, 2009
Confronted with sinking building permit numbers and developers struggling to get their projects off the ground, Grand Junction city planners are instituting what they think will be a small but helpful change to get cash flowing into developments.  The city no longer...

Lowe's wants road fees returned
Sarasota Herald - Tribune, FL - June 5, 2009
Lowe's Home Center Inc. made an unprecedented bid Friday to get back more than half of a nearly $2.5 million transportation fee paid to North Port to build a home improvement store in the city last year.  The City Commission spent more than seven hours considering...

Study: Champaign should consider developer impact fees
Urbana / Champaign News - Gazette, IL - June 4, 2009
Most residential development in Champaign does not pay for itself when compared to the cost of providing city infrastructure and services, according to a city consultant.  And that's one reason the city might want to consider impact fees on new development, ...

Impact fee debate moves to Legislature
Verde Independent, AZ - June 4, 2009
Calling it an issue of economic development, lobbyists for the home building industry have managed to insert a provision in the state budget to bar cities from imposing impact fees on new homes and apartments for the next three years.  Spencer Kamps, who...

Santa Maria latest city to cut fees
Fresno Business Journal, CA - June 4, 2009
The city of Santa Maria this week became the latest California jurisdiction to reduce development impact fees it charges homebuilders, which the California Building Industry Association said is a growing trend that is paying off.  The City Council voted...

Council opts not to change impact-fee increase schedule
Sun - Shopper, Prescott, AZ - June 3, 2009
"I see no reason not to get on with it," Hellman said Tuesday, referring to the water and sewer impact fee increases that the council first approved in October 2008, and then deferred from the original January effective date until July 11. "I'm perplexed; it...

Builder impact fee in works
Charleston Post Courier, SC - June 3, 2009
The impact fee will have to be paid before an owner occupies a new house. Builders often pass on impact fees to buyers, so the move could make new homes more expensive. The school board tentatively agreed to hold a public hearing on the impact fee...

Impact - fee rule could cost Tucson $4.6 million
Arizona Daily Star, AZ - June 3, 2009
A provision recently inserted in the state budget barring cities from collecting development impact fees could force Tucson to slash another $4.6 million from its newly approved tentative budget.  City Budget Director Marie Nemerguth was unable to say...

Pitkin County mulls impact fee increase
Aspen Times - Aspen, CO - June 2, 2009
Construction costs may be coming down these days, but a transportation impact fee tacked onto the cost of building a home in Pitkin County may soon be going up. County commissioners will review proposed new fees Tuesday that would generate a...

Builder gets YC fee deal
Appeal - Democrat, Marysville, CA - June 2, 2009
Paying the 2004 impact fee rates gives Interwest a savings of $6,932 per lot. The council chambers were standing-room only for the hourlong discussion. Several residents, businessmen and developers spoke about the potential impact, mostly...

Guest Commentary: Cutting impact fees won't help turn around the economy
Naples Daily News - Naples, FL - June 2, 2009
Our high fees did not inhibit our growth rate and new construction when the building industry was setting new construction records each year and impact fees were being paid to provide the new infrastructure (roads, water and sewer facilities, schools, parks, ...

Candidates agree on increased impact fees
Brownsville Herald - Brownsville, TX - June 2, 2009
Before the Brownsville City Commission votes on raising utility rates, at least two future commissioners will vote to increase impact fees to $3,486 per lot assessed developers to offset the cost of extending water and sewer lines to new construction. That's...

Garfield County faces 'tens of millions' in road work
Glenwood Springs Post Independent - Glenwood Springs, CO - June 1, 2009
In the case of 300 Road, he reported, preliminary estimates indicate that needed improvements to the intersection will cost between $1.2 million and $2 million. The county’s policies concerning capital improvements for roads are codified in the 1997 Capital...

Impact fees on table again
Delmarva Daily Times, DE - June 1, 2009
The Salisbury City Council is expected to bring impact fees to the table again today during a work session and could push legislation forward for a public hearing. Impact fees are one-time payments used to construct system improvements needed to...

Brent Batten: This is one column commissioners say you won't want...
Naples Daily News - Naples, FL - June 1, 2009
That will encourage challenges to impact fees, forcing the county to hire lawyers and consultants to justify the fees, the commission majority argues. Henning says, “The burden should be on the government.” Of greater concern to Coyle is Senate Bill 360, which...

Two More Jurisdictions Reduce Development Fees in Half
RealEstateRama - CA - June 1, 2009
The city of Menifee in Riverside County and the Scotts Valley Unified School District in Santa Cruz County are the latest California jurisdictions to significantly reduce fees charged to homebuilders, which the California Building Industry Association said is a growing...

 
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