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DOCUMENTS


The Tentacle


June 7, 2010

Campaign Diary County Increasing Fees

Michael Kurtianyk

Tuesday, June 1 – Impact Fee Increase

 

In case anyone missed it, the current Board of County Commissioners has voted 4-1 to raise impact fees beginning July 1 as follows:

 

FY2010 Residential                              School             Library             Total

(per housing unit)

 

Single Family Detached                        $13,482            $801                 $14,283

Townhouse/Duplex                               $11,558            $749                 $12,307

Other Residential                                    $2,214            $503                   $2,717

 

FY2011 Residential                              School             Library             Total

(per housing unit)

Single Family Detached                        $14,426            $759                 $15,185

Townhouse/Duplex                               $12,380            $709                 $13,089

Other Residential                                    $2,368            $477                   $2,845

 

 

According to staff, the increase in impact fees will result in an increase of $390,160 to the county coffers, based on projected new construction in FY2011. Furthermore, these numbers are based on assumptions made to the 10-year-old Tischler Study, in which county staff looked at indicators three years back and three years forward.

 

Two factors were cited as reasons for the decrease in the Library Impact Fee intake: 1) library materials are being reduced; and 2) the increase in online access of research materials for members.

 

We’ll see if these numbers help or not. Raising fees is not a good option at any time, and it hurts those impacted by the fees. I’ve always felt that the housing industry is the gas that runs the economic engine in any jurisdiction. That being said, maybe a future discussion should be about reducing impact fees, maybe going so far as cutting them in half, as Commissioner Blaine Young suggested. Like anything else, I’m of the opinion that everything is on the table. It would be interesting to see what impact Mr. Young’s suggestion would have.

 

We don’t know yet what future state unfunded mandates will be dumped on Frederick County. This issue, more than anything else, will dictate future cuts, and also revenue-raising options, like fee increases.

 

 

Wednesday, June 2 – Stormwater rule changes

 

Frederick City must comply with the state's Stormwater Management Act of 2007 and recently adopted legislation that amended it. One of the important changes stated that there is a new requirement: the environmental site design, which used to be optional, must be used "to the maximum extent practicable" to control runoff and to maintain after development "as nearly as possible the predevelopment runoff characteristics.” Legislation that passed recently allows localities to grandfather in under the previous ordinance those projects whose preliminary approval was no later than May 4, 2010.

 

So, if a development project does not receive final project approval before May 4, 2013, an administrative waiver issued for the project will expire the same day. If a development project receives final approval before May 4, 2013, an administrative waiver issued for the project will expire four years later, May 4, 2017.

 

I am not sure exactly what "maximum extent practicable" means. How subjective, and objective, can it be? Further study and research needs to be done in order to make this more understandable.

 

Sunday, June 6 – Summer Reading List

 

I am pretty sure that I won’t get to read these books, but I will try. Maybe I will call this my “Wish List of Books”, or rather my “Books that I am Looking Forward to Reading Someday.”

 

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson

 

Private Life by Jane Smiley

 

Imperial Bedrooms by Bret Easton Ellis

 

 



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