Consultants working for the City of Greeley have drafted a report recommending changes to the way impact fees are calculated in Greeley. The recommendations include reducing the number of land use categories and adding an oil & gas land use type. New water and sewer fee methodologies would result in lower rates for these fees.
On the other hand, staff is still analyzing road costs and it is possible that the roads fee would increase. For the most part, the new methodology would result in lower fees for both residential and commercial development. The City has worked hard to make sure all stakeholder groups have been included in the review process. The consultant and staff are preparing a final report that will be presented to stakeholders (including REALTORS) and the City Council on October 28. Assuming these meetings do not reveal any outstanding major disagreements, staff will prepare the methodology in an ordinance format for first reading on November 18. Second reading is scheduled for December 2nd and if all goes well the ordinance would become law on March 1.
The consultant hired by the City reviewed impact fees around Northern Colorado in part to understand the methodologies used by these communities. He noted that impact fee comparisons are a “popular pastime,” but can be misleading. “The amount of impact fees charged by a jurisdiction has not been demonstrated to have a significant effect on the amount of development activity between jurisdictions. Building or buying real estate in community entails far more than the up-front, published impact fee rates. Impact fees are only a small portion of development costs, and development costs are only a small part of the overall picture.”
Even so, it is interesting to compare Greeley’s impact fees ($22,355 for a single-family home) to those of other jurisdictions. While almost anyone would predict that Boulder’s fees are higher – who would predict that Fort Collins’ fees would be nearly $3,000 less? Boulder’s impact fees amount to $37,806 per single-family home but Fort Collins’ fees are $18,249 according to the consultant.