Local News

If You Build It, Will They Come to Cary?

Posted June 10, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT

— Should people moving to the Triangle pay additional fees to handle the cost of growth? Cary will debate this concept known as impact fees that could double the town's residential fees and push home prices even higher.

Cary is one of dozens of North Carolina communities that charge developers impact fees for the added burden their new homes put on roads, water and sewer systems. Developers often pass on those fees to home buyers.

Cary is the state's fastest growing town, and the impact fees have not risen in almost a decade.

"There's a significant amount of cost to the town of Cary for water, sewer and streets," town council member Glen Lang said. "We have been recovering maybe a third of that cost, and now we are going to try to recover the whole cost of the development."

Residential impact fees will rise nearly 50 percent if the town council votes them in. An average size new home in Cary currently cost a developer $2,300 in impact fees. The new fee structure would increase that cost to $4,500.

Home builders agree that an impact fee hike in Cary is long overdue, but they disagree with the method of evaluating cost.

"The fees that have been propose at this point and time are not the true fees that are out there," said Jim Wahlbrink, who is with the Home Builders Association. "Some of the methodology use to figure it, is not correct. So we are asking that we go back and look at a complete review of all the impact fee structures."

There will be a complete review of those fee structures throughout the next year, and the numbers could increase or decrease pending the outcome of the study.

Some fees will go up Thursday night if the council approves them, and include retail, commercial and industrial impact fees.