Snyderville Basin impact fees change
February 6, 2015
Impact fees for new residential development in the Snyderville Basin are decreasing, while the impact fees for commercial development will increase, beginning in April.
Impact fees are one-time charges intended to offset capital costs associated with new development, such as residential homes, commercial businesses or hotels, in the Snyderville Basin. Once collected, impact fees have to be used within six years.
On Wednesday, Jan. 7, the Summit County Council unanimously approved the new rate structure.
Under the new structure, both commercial and residential development impact fees will help offset the costs and pay for all facilities associated with parks, recreation, and trail improvements in the Basin. Commercial development previously only paid for trail improvements and residential fees paid for parks, recreation, and trails.
"Commercial development really does place demand on parks and trails," Susie Becker, a consultant with Zions Bank, told the County Council. "And because they place demands on that we need to provide facilities."
Another reason residential fees are decreasing is because school district facilities are no longer included in determining service levels, Becker said.
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The new fees for residential development are approximately $3,400 per unit. The current fees are approximately $4,100. Commercial fees will increase from 38 cents per square foot to 56 cents. In the past, hotel and lodging fees were $521 per room, but will now be charged in the same manner as commercial development.
The parks, recreation and trails system is designed to "provide services to residents and to accommodate demand," Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District Business Manager Megan Suhadolc said in an email to The Park Record. But given the current usage, district officials have determined that parks, recreation and trail usage will be at capacity in 2015.
"In order to maintain current service levels given the increasing demands created by new development, new facilities will need to be constructed," Suhadolc said in the email. "The District knows how important parks, trails, and recreation are to the residents of the Snyderville Basin.
"Impact fees are a source of funding that allows the district the ability to continue to provide the level of service that the residents have come to expect," she said.
But impact fees only allow for consideration of system improvements, not project improvements, Suhadolc said. For example, an outdated playground cannot be replaced with impact fees, but a new one can be built.
The driving force behind determining impact fees is growth, Becker said.
"From the historical growth and what the trends were, and from interviews and discussions with the county, we determine what we feel is most likely to occur," Becker said.
The District has outstanding general obligation bonds, paid for by property taxes, that are used to build new capital facilities for parks, recreation, and trails. Impact fee credits are issued to new developers to account for future property tax payments to prevent the property owner from paying twice for the capital facilities associated with new development.
Impact fees were the major funding source of the district’s newest park, Matt Knoop Memorial Park, Suhadolc said.
The new impact fees will go into effect on April 28.
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