Proposed development fee gets cold reception
“Inequity,” “double dipping,” “second-rate accounting,” and “administrative nightmare,” were some of the words thrown out by a collection of developers, realtors and builders who attended Wednesday’s workshop on development impact fees at Truckee Town Hall.
The workshop presented the audience with a proposed fee on future development that would raise up to $57.5 million for infrastructure improvements during the town’s build out.
Almost everyone in the audience had some complaint about the proposed fee, which the study said should be $5,511 per single family home. Traffic impact fees already in place are $2,100, so the proposed new fee raises the expense by roughly $3,400.
“In all of your analysis you are not giving us credit for all of the equity we put in the town,” said Planning Commissioner Bob Jensen.
Breeze Cross agreed, “The city didn’t build all these roads. Development built these roads. Is there any credit being given for what development has already contributed?”
Scott Thorpe of Revenue Cost Specialists, who prepared the study, said that the fees were not targeting one industry, as many people said, but that the cost would be spread between the developers, builders and new home buyers.
“I don’t think that any one group is stuck with the $5,000,” said Thorpe.
Still, many in the audience alleged that the development industry was being saddled with repairing and updating infrastructure that is already deficient. They asked for the updated and improvements to be financed by the entire town rather than just developers, and emphasized the property tax revenue that developers bring to the town.
A couple people even alleged that the study would lead to double charging for improvements such as street construction.
John Falk of the Tahoe Sierra Board of Realtors said the program would be an “administrative nightmare from this point forward” since records must be kept on who built sections of infrastructure. A developer building excess infrastructure that benefits the whole town will get a credit that will lessen his impact fee.
Now that the study has been released, the town is looking to form a balanced committee that represents a broad cross-section of the community to analyze the study. The development impact fee proposal will eventually come before the Truckee Town Council for approval, modification, or rejection.
If you are interested in serving on the committee contact Alex Terrazas at 582-7700.