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Panel OKs Doubling Impact Fees in Raleigh

Posted January 29, 2008

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— A City Council committee on Tuesday recommended doubling the fees developers pay on new construction to generate more money for local road improvements and parks.

The higher impact fees were among the priorities Mayor Charles Meeker laid out for the council this year, saying Raleigh needs to finance growth adequately so the city doesn't become overwhelmed.

Council members James West, Thomas Crowder and Nancy McFarlane joined Meeker in approving plans to put a complex sliding scale of impact fees to a public hearing in April.

The full council would consider the increased impact fees after the public hearing, and officials said the new fees could be in place by July, if approved.

"It's a way of having growth pay its fair share. It's not about slowing growth; it's about managing growth," Crowder said.

Developers now pay a flat fee of $1,200 for each single-family home they build, but city officials decided to split the fee into two segments – one for thoroughfares and one for open space – and devised a formula that would increase the fees for an average-size home to about $2,500.

Based on building permits taken out over the past seven years, officials calculated the average size of new homes at about 2,800 square feet. So the sliding scale was based on homes between 2,000 and 3,000 square feet.

Under the proposed increase, developers would have to pay $1,386 per home in that size range for street improvements. Fees of $1,491 to $1,684 would be charged for each larger home, while smaller homes would require fees of $1,051 to $1,249.

The impact fees charged for parks would range from $929 to $1,099 per home, depending on what part of the city they are located in, according to the proposal.

Meeker said the higher fees, which would be in line with those charged by Cary and Apex, could generate an extra $8 million to $10 million a year for the city to invest in roads and parks.

But opponents of the plan said residents the higher fees could stall a housing market that is already sputtering because of the national mortgage credit crunch.

"They haven't justified the need for the fees," said Dan Tingen, of Tingen Construction Co. "Given the economic climate that we're in right now, the added cost to the home buyer and the struggling nature of the home buyers right now, all that coupled together seems like piling on."


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  • geosol Jan 30, 2008

    Great idea!!! Since our previous politicians and planners decided not to fund the improvements in infrastructure, its only fair that those who have made the most money off of their short-sightedness should have to finally pay their fair share. The only people opposed to this are the developers and realtors. Too bad for them. To keep adding more homes when our current infrastructure is maxed out makes no sense to anyone except those who would like to make money off it.

  • BlueDevilFan Jan 29, 2008

    This is a bad idea! I think Council members believe developers have an endless supply of cash. Not true! Real estate speculation is ALWAYS high-risk, but NOT always high-reward, especially in today’s market/economy. And, are we really to believe the additional funds will go towards roads and parks? I don’t think so. If these need improving/funding cut out some fat from other areas!

  • OnDaRoof Jan 29, 2008

    HOW ABOUT BETTER STAFFING FOR FIRE AND POLICE??!! YES I'M YELLING!! THEY'D RATHER GIVE MONEY TOWARDS A RESTAURANT!! Out of sight, out of mind.....please collective bargaining, please become a reality!!!!

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Jan 29, 2008

    "Again did a bond pass (?) to take care of the roads and the parks?"

    Yes it did.

    But the city had it's priorities reversed.

    The city should have put the million dollar restaurant, the convention center, and the hotel on the ballot as bonds and funded the road constructions and parks out of the general fund.

    Meeker will raise taxes for needed infrastructure improvements and will pay for his socialist agenda out of the general fund.

    We need a new mayor and a new city manager.

  • coolwill Jan 29, 2008

    Again did a bond pass (?) to take care of the roads and the parks?

  • tarheelalum Jan 29, 2008

    Wade...not sure where you stand. Your sentences are contradictory...sarcasm? If "studies" show new homes are most often purchased by those having already lived in the area as opposed to the newcomers...then the increase in impact fees makes a bit more sense. I still don't like the fact that citizens will inevitably assume the burden as opposed to the developers.

  • flashlight Jan 29, 2008

    My point being... It is not Socialism when you are charging money to a specific group of people, INSTEAD OF THE WHOLE, to fund support for development that those particular people are choosing to create. A rant about Meeker doesn't really address what I was talking about.

  • hi_i_am_wade Jan 29, 2008

    Yeah, great idea. Have current residents pay for the growth caused by people moving in. Brilliant. Studies have shown that locals tend to buy new homes whereas people moving in buy cheaper used homes. So this "growth paying for itself" idea is flawed, because it is based on a lie.

  • tarheelalum Jan 29, 2008

    The fees will be passed on to buyers and further hurt the already dwindling housing market.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Jan 29, 2008

    "You people are the unhappiest lot whose comments I've had the pleasure of reading. You complain and complain, and seem to think you know the answers to everything municipal. If you would spend some of the time you devote to postings to learning about processes and what's possible, you'd see how ignorant you sound and shut your silly traps!"

    Ignorant is as Ignorant does!!!