Local News

Cary Raises Some Impact Fees, Creates 1 New Fee

Posted April 7, 2008 9:57 p.m. EDT
Updated April 8, 2008 4:05 p.m. EDT

— The Cary Town Council voted Monday night to increase impact fees for water and sewer services, but not for transportation, public-information officer Susan Moran said.

Council members approved raising those fees by 75 percent of the maximum cost to lay new water and sewer lines, as estimated in a city study. They take effect with the 2008-09 budget on July 1.

Under the new rates, the water and sewer development fees for a new 2,500 square foot home will increase by about $938 to a total of $5,261. The total increase is dependent upon the size of the home.

The costs borne by commercial developers will rise similarly. The water and sewer charges for a 150,000-square-foot building will go to $130,230.

Officials also created a new impact fee to install reclaimed-water irrigation meters. That fee was set at $187.

The council unanimously voted to keep the transportation fee level at $1,386, because that fee was already among the highest in the Triangle.

Mayor Harold Weinbrecht has pushed for impact fees as a way to control growth and fund its associated infrastructure costs. He has previously said that he believes that impact fees can decrease growth in some areas – such as Crossroads – and encourage it in others – such as downtown.

Town officials said that when Cary decreased impact fees in 2002, growth decreased, but increased in 2004 when impact fees were dropped to 1999 levels.

Developers expressed worry that significant increases to impact fees could stunt growth in Cary.

"People need to make the numbers work for their business," Suzanne M. Harris, government affairs vice president of the Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake County, said at a Feb. 15 town council meeting. "And if their fees get to a point where they're too high, then decisions will be made to build elsewhere."

Statistics released by the town and the association differed on whether Cary's current impact fees are the second- or fourth-highest in the county. Both agreed that Holly Springs has the highest impact fees and Fuquay-Varina, the lowest.