Tulare County Board of Supervisors today dropped the controversial plan to implement a regional transportation impact fee countywide on new development including lands within the boundaries of the 8 cities. The vote to drop the plan that had little support from the cities – was unanimous
Supervisor Phil Cox says after months of negotiations with the cities it was clear ”the plan had been watered down so much we were going to get barley one fifth of the funds we had expected.” He says some like Porterville supported the plan and some smaller cities suggested they would support fees on new residential development but not on new commercial uses.
The idea of the fee was that new development within the cities use county infrastructure and should share in the improvement costs associated with new growth. But the cities argued they were asking new development to pay for impacts within their jurisdiction already.On top of that they did not like the idea they would be asked to collect the fees for the county.
Cox says what “people don’t understand is that Cal Trans is likely to challenge projects if we don’t have a fee in place.” Cox says the county could revisit the idea later.
The plan to establish the new fee has been in the works since 2011. The proposed fee drew fire from the builder community who complained it would add thousands of dollars to the cost of new homes.