The Oro Valley Town Council on Oct. 15 unanimously approved a measure to increase roadway development impact fees from $2,008 to $2,920. The increased fees on new residential construction can only be used to increase the capacity of
the town's roadway system.
"New people place additional demands on the transportation network. This is their contribution," said town engineer Bill Jansen. "We can use that money to take a two-lane road and make it a four-lane road, install traffic signals, improve intersections, put in left-turn lanes or build new roads, bike lanes or shared-used paths, but we can't use it for maintenance."
The new fee is comparable to other area jurisdictions. Marana imposes a $2,435 impact fee plus construction sales tax. Pima County charges $3,500 per home and Tucson is likely to meet or exceed the county fee. Phoenix charges a whopping $3,755 plus a half-cent sales tax.
The Southern Arizona Home Builders Association didn't exactly support the fee hike but it didn't oppose it either.
"It would have been nice if the increase had been incremental, which is more manageable if you're a builder," said Alex Jacome, SAHBA's government liaison. "Unfortunately, these things are passed on to the homebuyer and most don't realize they're paying it. But I think in this instance, they plan to go ahead and begin that La Canada extension rather than waiting for regional monies, so in that respect it will open up new development opportunities for our members and that's the reason we didn't oppose it."
In 1994, the town adopted its original development impact fee ordinance for the reconstruction of La Canada Drive from Naranja Drive to Lambert Lane. A fee of $1,035 was imposed on an area of the town that would directly benefit from the improvement. The ordinance was amended in 1997 to $1,494 and again in 2000 to $2,008. On July 16, the council adopted the resolution establishing a notice of intent to increase the increase. A public hearing was held Oct. 1. The increase takes effect 90 days from adoption of the ordinance.
In other measures, the council:
€ Named Terry Vosler, town building administrator, "Building Official of the Year" and Melissa Kern, a town permit technician "Permit Technician of the Year."
€ Reappointed Bill Adler and appointed Greg Marlar to two-year terms with the town's Board of Adjustment.
€ Appointed town founder Jim Kriegh to the permanent position of town historian.
€ Continued until Nov. 5 a request for approval of a preliminary plat at the southeast corner of Moore Road and La Canada Drive by Castro Engineering, representing Sterling Homes.
"This is a preliminary plat and part of the process of this request is for them to contribute to the Moore Road and La Canada development and maybe in that regard there won't be any housing construction until those two roads are complete," said Councilmember Dick Johnson. He estimated that Moore Road would be finished by July 1, 2004, with the intersection completed by January, 2005.