Public hearing set over proposed fees increase |

Public hearing set over proposed fees increase

Builders may have to add an additional $2,300 to the price of building on new parcels, further exacerbating the cost for new homes, if Town Council approves the increase to the Quimby Fee.

The Quimby Fee is the common name for the fee paid by builders on new parcels for the maintenance of public parks. Builders have the option of giving a small portion of land to be used for park purposes instead of paying the fee.

The increase, up more than 200 percent from the current fee of $1,009 set in 1996, received mixed reviews by council members in their meeting last week. The 1996 increase raised the fee from $750 to its current price.

Several of the council members questioned both the duration between fee increases, and the size of the increase.

To allow the public to comment on the issue they set a public hearing for the Town Council meeting March 15.

“People come here for the quality of life,” said Steve Randall, general manager for Truckee Donner Recreation and Park District. “The park district increases the quality of life.”

Randall mentioned increased mitigation costs, such as land, personnel, maintenance and services, as justification for increasing the fee.

The existing residents should not be asked to subsidize new parks or facilities as a result of growth from new developments, he wrote in a letter to Town Council on Dec. 18.

“You are already at the ceiling for what you can do,” said John Falk, a representative from the Tahoe Sierra Board of Realtors, referring to the five acres per 1,000 population land designation, currently the largest land donation allowed by the Quimby Act. “This is a big increase.”

The town has several options it may want to consider for adjusting the fee, said Tony Lashbrook, community development director. He listed waiving or reducing the fee for affordable housing units, a sliding scale for the fee based on the size of the house, other funding sources or fee practices.

Council concluded that the Park District needed to expand on how it came up with the $2,300 increase, and suggested that a lesser amount might be more acceptable.

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