Greeley: Impact Fees Another Step Closer to Approval

The City Council is scheduled to review the proposed impact fee methodology on Dec. 16 and hold a final public hearing on January 6, 2015. At a work session on Dec 9 it seemed that some members of the Council were a bit uncomfortable with the new fees, but they cannot argue with the logic or methodology used to support them. The total fees for a single-family home will increase 8.6 percent in 2015 from $22,355 to $24,278.

Last month the City’s Water Board voted to continue using its existing methodology to calculate water and sewer fees, even though the City has excess capacity in its water and sewer system. The City Charter gives the Water Board the authority to set these rates; the only change the City Council could make would be to increase the rates, not decrease them. Therefore the City Council is obligated to accept the decision of the Water Board.

The Greeley Area REALTOR Association’s Board of Directors voted to support the proposed methodology although it expressed concern for the way in which the fees could affect home prices. Existing home prices are already on the rise and the additional cost of higher impact fees will ultimately be borne by new home buyers. However, after in-depth discussion GARA’s Board felt that the fees were fair and necessary to maintain the quality of life enjoyed by city residents now and in the future.

Note: The City Council cannot waive impact fees for affordable housing projects according to the City Code. However, it can pay the fees out of its own general fund if it chooses. Other ways in which to subsidize housing costs are to reduce or waive building permit fees.

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