Understand the Impact of Fees on Housing

Feb 7, 2017 | Uncategorized

Do you think you are paying too little in fees to the City of Fort Collins?

Do you believe housing affordability is a non-issue in Fort Collins?

Most of us will answer ‘no’ and ‘no.’

This is not intended to be an anti-government or anti-tax or anti-fee screed. Most businesspeople are fine with paying reasonable government costs for good and necessary services. The rub, of course, is the definition of ‘reasonable’ is in the eye of the beholder!

The City staff is proposing a set of significant fee increases which will be discussed in a work session by the City Council on February 14. Fees being considered include:

  • Capital Improvement Expansion Fees (assess new developments for the proportionate share of the cost of new capital facilities required to serve them at the same level of service provided to existing developments the current system for parks, fire, police, general government)
  • Transportation Impact Fee (renamed Street Oversizing Fee; “buying in” to the transportation system)
  • Water Supply Fee (‘buying into” the system and also providing enough cash to purchase water for your own use)
  • Electric Capacity Fee (“buying into” the system)

Details on Capital and Transportation Fees are here http://www.fcgov.com/finance/capitalexpansion.php and you can also learn more at the Fort Collins Board of Realtors issues page:  https://fcbr.org/cta-fees/

Here’s our opinion on all of this:

  • None of these fees are ready for adoption.  While stakeholder outreach has been valuable, the general community hasn’t been invited into this conversation.  With the direct, negative impact that these fees have on the affordability of our community, we are encouraging the Council to expand outreach.  And the Water Supply and Electric Capacity fees have just been released in the last two weeks.  They definitely need more community dialogue.
  • We are very concerned about the “High Range” fees being promoted in the Transportation Impact Fee.  Expanding this fee to include transit, pedestrian plans and bicycle plans without a community conversation or dedicated funding tools is inappropriate.
  • There has been no triple bottom line analysis of the impact of these fees individually or in total.  These fees will directly impact the cost of housing in our community.
  • The Capital Improvement Expansion Fees as they relate to smaller units directly impact our ability to build multi-family and dense products in our community.  Adopting them as they are presented will have the unintended consequence of driving the creation of that affordable product outside the growth management area.

So, if you are so inclined, you can express your views to Council Members via email.