Council Considers Tweaks to Linkage Fee Ordinance

The City Council needs to make a few minor tweaks in order to enact its new linkage fee ordinance.

The ordinance will require developers to pay a fee to the city for developments that meet certain size requirements. Those fees would then  be used by the city for programs such as youth sports or other programs to improve the city.

The home rule petition for linkage fees was introduced by  then- City Council President Roy Avellaneda in early 2022. The ordinance creates linkage fees for any commercial, industrial, or mixed-used development, and any residential developments of 24 or more units.

Those fees would then go into a separate fund, and the City Council would then be able to decide how the funds could best be used for the neighborhoods impacted and the city.

In a letter to the City Council, City Solicitor Cheryl Watson Fisher said the home rule petition recently passed by the state misclassified which fund the monies should be appropriated to, and also failed to clarify the waiver section.

At its next meeting, the council will be asked to amend several sections of the ordinance to clarify those issues.

The fees will go into a community impact linkage fee fund and subject to appropriation by the council.

The fee for commercial and industrial developments will be determined by multiplying the rate of $12.50 per square foot times the total number of square feet in the project over 25,000 gross square feet.

For residential and mixed-use developments, the fee would be $10 per square foot times the total number of square feet in the project over 25,000 gross square feet.

The City Manager may also recommend a waiver or reduction of the linkage fees if the City Manager determines that other project development cost and concessions warrant such a waiver or reduction. Such a recommendation would have to be approved by a majority of the council.

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