Study Says Fees Ok

March 10, 1991

WESTMINSTER — A consultant's report says capital-benefits fees the city charges developers fall within agreeable limits.

The City Council will discuss the report at its regular meeting tomorrow night.

The study stems from a suit filed against the city by Hampstead developer Martin K. P. Hill, who charged that the fees, enacted in August 1988, were exorbitant.

Part of the consent order resulting from the suit called for Hill and the city to agree on a consultant to review the capital-benefits fee program and rate structure. The 39-page report was prepared by Tischler & Associates Inc. The contract for the study was for $25,000, to be paid by Hill.

The purpose of the capital-benefits fee -- derided by some as an impact fee -- is to generate revenue to pay for parks projects and municipal equipment and facilities.

The city charges $750 per single-family home. For commercial projects, the fee is $750 for the first 5,000 square feet, and $15 per square foot thereafter.

The city has taken in some $500,000 in revenue, City Planning Director Thomas B. Beyard said.

The report says the "maximum supportable" fee is $831 for a single-family dwelling. The consultant recommends a fee 10 percent less than the maximum, which would be $748.

Hill filed suit in April 1989, and the consent order was handed down in July 1989.

Also tomorrow, the council is expected to act on an ordinance to rescind the 18-month-old sewer moratorium on sewer hookup permits for residential development projects.

The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall.

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