Traffic fee exemptions go before town council |

Traffic fee exemptions go before town council

Ryan Salm/Sierra Sun file photoTraffic passes through the Mousehole on 89 South. Traffic impact fees could be used in part to help fund work at the Mousehole.

In an effort to have new development to pay for the traffic it generates, the Town of Truckee has updated the traffic impact fee it charges developers.

The new fee, which will go into effect Oct. 1, raises the rate from $2,450 to $5,169 charged for a theoretical unit of development that generates the same amount of traffic as a single-family home.

When the council approved the fee, town staff and affected parties debated whether other government agencies, the school district, or affordable housing should pay the hefty fees.

Truckee Assistant Engineer Becky Bucar said the implementation plan, which goes before town council this evening, recommends potential exemptions or reductions for public uses like government entities, schools and certain affordable-housing projects.

“The plan doesn’t auto-exempt affordable housing, but provides a criteria if town council wants to subsidize affordable housing,” Bucar said. “But the affordable-housing project can’t be a requirement of a larger development.”

This means that only dedicated affordable-housing projects could be considered for exemption, not larger-scale developments like Gray’s Crossing or Canyon Springs, of which affordable housing is a required component, Bucar said.

Executive Director Pat Davison of the Contractors Association of Truckee Tahoe said she will continue pushing to exempt all affordable housing, because the town requires large projects to include a percentage of affordable housing.

The Tahoe Truckee Unified School District also charges developers an impact fee to pay for new schools. But state law prohibits the school district from charging developers more than half of the district’s expenses, so town staff is also recommending assessing the district just 50 percent of the traffic fees, Bucar said.

The contractors association has advocated the school district pay its fair share, and Davison said given the state restriction, the 50 percent rate seemed like a decent compromise.

“I think it’s a step in the right direction, and I encourage the school district to go forward with the 50 percent,” Davison said.

As with affordable housing, town council will have the option to exempt other government projects on a case-by-case basis, she said.

Bucar said the exemptions would not increase the $5,169 fee, but may be reflected in future annual adjustments.

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