Latest News: July 2008

Lawsuit settlement frees up $2 million for school district; Board must first sign off
Cape Coral Daily Breeze, FL - July 31, 2008
The Lee County School Board is poised to receive millions of dollars in withheld impact fee revenues if it decides to sign off on a settlement in a seven-year-old class action suit tonight. Keith Martin, the board’s attorney, is recommending that the board approves the ...

Partnership aims to hone city’s competitive edge
Fort Worth Star Telegram, TX - July 31, 2008
As Fort Worth rides unprecedented waves of growth, the public and private sectors are pooling resources in a high-stakes collaborative effort to hone the city's competitive edge. The City of Fort Worth and the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce are co-sponsoring ...

Washington County needs to further reduce impact fee hike
Beaverton Valley Times, OR - July 31, 2008
Citizens and business owners can take some solace that proposed increases in Washington County’s traffic impact fees have been cut back from initial amounts that many said were way too high. Traffic impact fees have been charged in Washington County since ...

Building impact fees just day away
Today's News-Herald, AZ - July 31, 2008
With date for implementation of impact fees on construction just a day away, contractors in Lake Havasu City still have many questions as to how the fees will affect new construction in the city. Since the Lake Havasu City Council passed the ordinance in ...

Lee impact fee dispute may be nearing end
Naples Daily News, FL - July 30, 2008
It's over. Hopefully. The nearly decade-long class-action court battle over an impact fee ordinance passed in 2001 by Lee County may soon be over if all parties approve a settlement agreement that would return about $1 million in unconstitutional impact fees. "Well...

Stewart: County ‘sold a pig in a poke’
Inside NoVA, VA - July 30, 2008
To say Prince William supervisors are dissatisfied with the General Assembly's treatment of transportation would be an understatement. It's criminal," said Chairman Corey Stewart, R-at large, at the board's July 22 meeting, in reference first to the General Assembly's ...

Lowering impact fees still bad idea
Tampabay.com, FL - July 28, 2008
Lowering impact fees still bad idea. For every economist who analyzes a specific segment of an economy, most likely he or she is an expert in the area based on his or her professional experience. Yet, we must ask ourselves this question: Are the expressed ...

Let's keep pushing for impact fees
BlueRidgeNow.com, NC - July 28, 2008
The truth is that the state Legislature has approved impact fees to help offset the costs of new development in at least three instances: Chatham County has had them for years, and Brunswick and Catawba Counties have recently received state approval to impose them. ...

Lake Wales Pays Cash for New Fire Truck to Replace Aging One
The Ledger, FL - July 27, 2008
The city has paid cash for a new fire truck for the first time since the 1970s. City Manager Tony Otte said the $232,000 Ferrara fire engine was purchased with impact fees collected from new construction in the service area north of Mountain Lake Cutoff Road. Deputy ...

City, county shun millions for parks
Charlotte Observer, NC - July 26, 2008
You go away for a year, and things change. Outside the windows at my Observer desk, where I used to look down at a Firestone parking lot, a skyscraper has arisen. While we were in Cambridge, Mass., back home a longed-for Starbucks opened within walking distance ...

Impact fee cut would hurt area
Tampabay.com, FL - July 26, 2008
If the objective of reducing the impact fees is to make it easier for first-time home buyers to get one step closer to realizing the American dream by enabling builders to offer new homes at a lower price, then I can't see how anyone could object. On the other ...

Local home builders — yes, builders — deserve sympathy
Tampabay.com, FL - July 26, 2008
Try to get your mind around this one: Builders are victims of the housing glut. Not all builders, of course. Just local, longtime firms that built homes mostly for people who planned to live in them. Their livelihoods have been crippled by national and regional companies ...

Vacant lot owners assessed facilities fee
Charleston Post Courier, SC - July 25, 2008
The owners of about 90 vacant lots on Sullivan's Island will begin paying a minimum user fee under a new water and sewer budget approved by the Town Council in July. Under the new budget, owners whose vacant lots are not hooked up to water and sewer ...

Clay board approves impact fees
Florida Times-Union, FL - July 25, 2008
A lawsuit-challenged impact fee is on again in Clay County and will add upward of $4,000 to the cost of every new development as a way to pay for future road improvements. The County Commission approved the transportation impact fee this week. The decision ...

Impact Fee Cut Would Impact Home Values
Tampa Tribune, FL - July 23, 2008
The county commission is scheduled to hold a hearing on Aug 5 on the reduction of current impact fees by 25 percent for a minimum of 18 months, in order to share in the $20 million state affordable housing fund for first-time home buyers. While this measure is ...

Prince William board nixes impact fees
WTOP, DC - July 23, 2008
The Prince William Board of County Supervisors informally agreed Tuesday not to levy transportation impact fees. The General Assembly had recently given localities the option of adopting impact fees that would mean builders would contribute thousands of ...

Hernando County in recession, economist says
Tampabay.com, FL - July 22, 2008
Economist Hank Fishkind was not mincing words with Hernando County commissioners on Tuesday. Crises in the housing, banking and energy industries, he said, as well as soaring unemployment numbers in Hernando County, translate into one nasty word: recession. ...

Economist: Hernando Housing Market Has Bottomed Out
Tampa Tribune, FL - July 22, 2008
County commissioners didn't need another reminder of the bleakness of the Hernando County economy. But they got one today after hearing twin reports from economic experts who gave a snapshot of current conditions. "This is just an ugly period of time," said Henry ...

Council denies impact fee suspension
Lake City Reporter, FL - July 22, 2008
Attorney Terry McDavid, the Lake City Board of Realtors and the Columbia County Builders Association sought a suspension of impact fees Monday night from the Lake City City Council, according to the agenda. McDavid wanted a 12-month break from impact fees to ...

Proposal to increase impact fees generates concerns
Sun Shopper, AZ - July 22, 2008
This past April, the City of Prescott's proposal to raise water and sewer impact fees by about $2,343 per new home generated little or no comment from the public.Things apparently have changed in the past four months. When the Prescott City Council conducted ...

Transportation tax headed for ballot
Monterey County Herald, CA - July 22, 2008
Bolstered by an endorsement from the Monterey Peninsula Taxpayers Association, a 25-year half-cent transportation sales tax is headed to the November ballot after getting the go-ahead from the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. Supervisors unanimously approved ...

Washington County trims traffic fee proposal
Beaverton Valley Times, OR - July 21, 2008
On Monday, the Washington County Coordinating Committee agreed to forward a recommendation to commissioners to increase fees charged to developers. Those fees in turn pay for highway and transit improvements. The measure represents a 150 percent to ...

Prince William supervisors to discuss transportation impact fees
Inside NoVA, VA - July 20, 2008
Now is not the time for Prince William to implement a transportation impact fee program, said county executive Craig Gerhart, at a Friday morning press briefing. That's because assessment of the impact fees would come at the building permit stage, at time when building ...

Hernando commissioners split on expert's bias
Tampabay.com, FL - July 19, 2008
When the County Commission this week put off the hot-button topic of lowering impact fees, the deciding factor was the desire to have all the pertinent facts on hand before making a decision. Some of those details are supposed to come next week from a prominent ...

Cape Coral City Council won't support impact fee reduction
The News-Press, FL - July 19, 2008
The mayor's plan to revive the utility expansion program crumbled Monday, leaving the $1 billion project mired in uncertainty. Contractors last month were poised to start the $68 million project that would bring utilities to the SW 6-7 area when a tie vote on ...

In Camden County, small-time builders face big-time fee
The Virginian-Pilot, VA - July 18, 2008
Anticipating building a new home, Lisa and Mark Brigman were surprised last week when they had to write Camden County a check for $10,249 for a building permit. They had heard about the county's new ordinance, passed last year, that called for a large fee for ...

Fee dispute keeps money tied up
Cincinnati.com, OH - July 18, 2008
Last year, this township became the first in Ohio to begin charging developers impact fees to cover the cost of expanding public services to keep up with new construction. But the $300,000 collected so far is sitting in an escrow account, gathering interest ...

Editorial: Get Cape’s utilities back on track
The News-Press, FL - July 17, 2008
The on-again, off-again Cape Coral utility expansion program is too important to be left in deadlock and uncertainty any longer. The City Council needs to hash out a compromise, or this vitally needed project may start running into real delays. We respect the ...

Windham considers recreation impact fees
Eagle Tribune, MA - July 17, 2008
If approved, impact fees for public recreation would not be used to pay for athletic fields or courts at the new high school slated to open in 2009. Fees for those facilities could be factored into school impact fees, according to consultant Bruce Mayberry. Mayberry also ...

Proffer offer
Orange County Review, VA - July 17, 2008
Future developments in Orange County could give county planners more bang for their buck, if officials adopt a proposed conditional zoning ordinance. If the Orange County Board of Supervisors adopt state code 15.2-2303, which defines a locality as high-growth, ...

Corzine Signs Landmark Affordable Housing Reforms
Cape May County Herald, NJ - July 17, 2008
Gov. Jon S. Corzine on July 17 signed landmark legislation that will reform affordable housing laws in New Jersey and increase housing opportunities for low and middle income families throughout the state. “Through these measures, we are ending decades of unfair, ...

Fernley City Council requests cost for traffic transportation master plan
Reno Gazette Journal, NV - July 16, 2008
After some developers and planners criticized the City's Capital Improvement Committee for not having a transportation master plan in the city's draft Capital Impact Plan/Impact Fee, the Fernley City Council addressed the issue at its July 2 meeting. ...

Hughes suggests halting impact fee
Florida Today, FL - July 16, 2008
School board member Larry Hughes told the board Tuesday night that he wants it to consider placing a moratorium on impact fees because of declining student enrollment throughout the county. Impact fees are charged on new-home construction. The district began ...

County Impact Fee Group Suspends Work
Flathead Beacon, MT - July 16, 2008
Frustrated with complex impact fee laws and incomplete information, the Flathead County Impact Fee Advisory Committee has suspended further work until at least next year. The county group had been working on developing separate impact fees for county roads ...

Cape Coral Council rejects mayor’s plan to reduce city impact fees
The News-Press, FL - July 15, 2008
The mayor's plan to revive the utility expansion program crumbled Monday, leaving the $1 billion project mired in uncertainty. Contractors last month were poised to start the $68 million project that would bring utilities to the SW 6-7 area when a tie vote on ...

Rowden Tries To Rally Residents Against Lower Impact Fees
Tampa Tribune, FL - July 15, 2008
County Commissioner Diane Rowden isn't content to simply vote no on a proposal to cut impact fees by 25 percent. Rowden also sent out an e-mail last week warning of the danger that she contends the measure poses for the county. In the message, she urges ...

Debating the Costs of Growth
Centralia Chronicle, WA - July 15, 2008
With the prospect of school impact fees a possibility for Lewis County, the Centralia-Chehalis Chamber of Commerce hosted two speakers, one on each side of the issue, Monday afternoon. The fees are instituted to help districts accumulate money, through a ...

Impact Fee Decision Put Off Until Aug. 5
Tampa Tribune, FL - July 15, 2008
County commissioners postponed taking action Tuesday on a proposed impact fee reduction until Aug. 5, allowing experts on both sides of the issue time to present testimony. But that didn't stop about two dozen people, mostly Realtors, builders and business ...

Group vows to fight impact fee
Salisbury Post, NC - July 14, 2008
Officials with a local builders' group threaten to fight a proposal to charge residential developers fees to help pay for their impact on public services. The draft land-use study for western Rowan County recommends enacting an impact fee or adequate public facilities ...

Developers discuss impact fee ordinance
Fort Worth Business Press, TX - July 14, 2008
The city’s newly in-effect Transportation Impact Fee Ordinance was the focus of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Development Council meeting on July 9. Lee Nicol with Harris, Nicol & Welborn Development Partners and Kenneth Davis with Jacobs ...

Commissioner urges taxpayers to pack today's impact fee meeting
Tampabay.com, FL - July 14, 2008
Figuring that builders and related interests would pack today's County Commission meeting on possibly cutting impact fees, Commissioner Diane Rowden on Monday fired a pre-emptive strike. She e-mailed her lengthy list of constituents, telling them that ...

CANDIDATES FORUM: COUNTY COMMISSIONER CANDIDATES TALK IMPACT FEES ...
KMAS, Mason County, WA - July 10, 2008
The six candidates running for Mason County Commission this August talked about the two hot issues facing the County: school impact fees and the Washington Renaissance Faire. During Tuesday night's Primary Election Candidates' Forum, the two running for Mason ...

Complaints by builders spur review of impact fee
Arizona Republic, AZ - July 9, 2008
Surprise officials will renegotiate a developmental impact fee imposed by the city last year after builders complained that the fee makes their projects unprofitable during an economic downturn. In July 2007, the City Council approved a "roads of regional significance" ...

Committee wants to reward efficiency by returning impact fees
Northwest Arkansas Times, AR - July 9, 2008
Mayor Dan Coody's ad hoc committee wants the Fayetteville City Council to consider a study of incentives to encourage residential builders to maximize energy efficiency. "We want you to adopt the Arkansas efficiency code and amend it to add these provisions ...

Council struggles with fee options
Myrtle Beach Sun News, SC - July 9, 2008
The city of Georgetown has three options when it comes to charging developers a countywide impact fee in order to build new roads and streetscape improvements. City Council can vote to opt out of the countywide program, create its own impact fee or go along with ...

Snowflake and Taylor debate impact fees
White Mountain Independent, AZ - July 8, 2008
With growth comes an increased need for municipal infrastructure, everything from roads and libraries to wastewater treatment and parks. Impact fees have been designed so those moving into a community will bear the expense for increased services. They ...

Napolitano vetoes development fees restrictions
Bizjournals.com, NC - July 7, 2008
Gov. Janet Napolitano Monday vetoed a bill that would have stopped city governments from tacking on new development fees to subdivisions, shopping centers and office parks after they are approved. Senate Bill 1406 would have kept cities from levying ...

Impact fee impasse: Mollify developers with audited report
Bradenton Herald, FL - July 6, 2008
Two contentious issues continue to swirl around Manatee County impact fees. While your eyes might glaze over just reading the phrase "impact fees," that money's vital to growth in Manatee County and the roads you drive. Impact fees are paid by developers to the ...

Developers fear county could impose ever higher impact rates
Bradenton Herald, FL - July 6, 2008
Dick Hubbard and his family are just about ready to start building an $8 million, 40-lane bowling center in Lakewood Ranch. But the first thought that ran through his mind after learning the center's impact fee bill will top $850,000: "I can't afford this." For planning ...

San Luis revives residential impact fees for water and sewer service
Yuma Sun, AZ - July 6, 2008
People who move into new homes here will no longer get a break from the city on the cost of hookups to water and sewer service. The San Luis City Council has decided to re-establish the water and sewer impact fee charged for residential developments, effective this ...

City staff's comparison faulty
Kingman Daily Miner, AZ - July 6, 2008
The city of Kingman's impact fee rates may not be as affordable as officials originally thought. A calculation error in a report presented last month significantly altered the reality of Kingman's competitiveness when it comes to how much the city charges ...

Redding construction blossoms in June
Record-Searchlight, CA - July 5, 2008
Buoyed by another strong month for housing starts and the high-profile Trader Joe's store, the city of Redding recorded $13.2 million in building valuation in June. It was the highest month since September, when $15.2 million in valuation was reported. Trader Joe's is ...

The impact in Bentonville
Arkansas Times, AR - July 3, 2008
Little Rock's leadership has been positively allergic to impact fees as anti-development. Other cities in Arkansas see things differently. Bentonville, Conway, Fayetteville, Lowell and Rogers levy various fees to pay for new city services demanded by growth. Bentonville ...

Tualatin water, sewer rates spike
Tualatin Times, OR - July 3, 2008
This summer, Tualatin water customers will get splashed in the face with another rate hike. A 12-cent increase in the cost of water from the Portland Water Bureau will account for the bulk of a 20-cent increase for Tualatin water customers that took effect July 1. ...

City Hopes Fees Have An Impact
Tampa Tribune, FL - July 2, 2008
The city has collected $17.3 million in transportation impact fees in New Tampa during the past decade but managed to complete only one road project. Since 1998, Tampa has spent $10.4 million of impact fee money in the University North district. More than $4 ...

In hard numbers, a clearer view of an industry's hard fall
Sarasota Herald-Tribune, FL - July 2, 2008
New construction in the region was down more than $2 billion last year, a leading factor in pushing local unemployment rate to a 15-year high. The hardest-hit areas were the unincorporated parts of Sarasota and Manatee counties and the city of North Port. ...

City plans to overhaul fees from developers
The Oregonian - OregonLive.com, OR - July 2, 2008
For the first time in 11 years, Oregon City is reevaluating the way it assesses developers a fee that covers the cost of providing the infrastructure, such as roads, to new construction and structures being redeveloped. The fee, known as a system development ...

Kittery considers a building impact ordinance
York Weekly, NH - July 1, 2008
The Town Council Monday night got its first look at an ordinance that would establish an impact fee on any new building projects in town in order to build a reserve for the purchase of fire equipment. "We're looking at the high price of apparatus and equipment needed ...

Impact fee input heard
Kingman Daily Miner, AZ - July 1, 2008
A town hall held at the Old Elks building last week turned out to be the perfect venue - casual, focused and respectful - for uniting residents and their city representatives on a much-debated issue. Between 40 and 50 people filled the downtown building and heard ...

Impact Fees Remain At 30 Percent
Tampa Tribune, FL - July 1, 2008
Think of it like this. Inflation is jacking up the price of gasoline and milk. So impact fees should be adjusted for inflation too. At least, that was the thinking of the Highlands County commissioners, who decided Tuesday to index – their word – impact fees. When ...

Collier, Lee foreclosures continue to soar
Bonitanews (subscription), FL - July 1, 2008
Once again records were broken in June in Lee and Collier counties but not of the good kind. In Collier, new foreclosure filings jumped to an all-time high of 716. In the first six months of this year, there were 3,827 filings. That’s more than the 3,266 for all of last ...

Lee County issues permits for 74 homes in June
Cape Coral Daily Breeze, FL - July 1, 2008
During June, Lee County Community Development issued permits for 74 single-family homes valued at $27.4 million to be built in unincorporated Lee County, Bonita Springs and Fort Myers Beach. In comparison, there were 80 permits for single-family homes issued ...

Impact Fee Reduction Has A Negative Effect
Tampa Tribune, FL - July 1, 2008
Hernando county commissioners are considering the reduction of impact fees in order to take advantage of an opportunity to share in the $20 million state affordable housing fund for first-time buyers. In addition, the commission rationalizes that this could stimulate ...

Housing permits in Lee County tumble
The News-Press, FL - July 1, 2008
The slow rise in permits for single-family homes in Lee County was short-lived. Cape Coral, which saw an increase the past two months, had the biggest drop. The city's building department issued 14 permits, down 59 percent from the 34 issued in May and a drop of ...

 
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