County approves impact fee study
A feasibility study to determine what sort of impact fees Douglas County can collect on single family home building permits will be conducted by an outside contractor.
The county currently collects $3,100 on each new home, which goes to parks, roads and the schools.
County Manager Larry Werner said a consultant with experience in charging impact fees could cost up to $35,000.
That’s not quite as much as Douglas County collected on the 10 single family home permits it issued during the month of July, according to the county web site.
Werner said impact fees are seen as a way of managing growth and balancing development.
He said impact fees could be used for a variety of services, including stormwater control. However, if the county collects a fee for a project, it must start a project in five years and complete it in a decade.
“I don’t know that will work with the way the county is spread out,” Werner said. “I’m not an expert on this by any means. We need to see if any of this makes sense.”
Commissioner Barry Penzel agreed that the fees are seen as a way to make development pay for itself.
“We need to look at funding,” he said. “The question is ‘is it sufficient and can we make it work?’”
He stressed the fees would only apply to new construction.
Douglas County has charged a $1,000 fee for construction of parks and schools for decades.
A 2009 study found that a fee of $7,570 per home would be sufficient to pay for the county’s regional road work, at 377 homes a year. At the time, that fee was rejected due to the possibility that it would reduce potential jobs in the county during the Great Recession.