New building fee for Angels



Builders of Angels Camp homes must soon pay a fee to offset the impact new housing has on city services, Angels Camp's City Council decided last night.

In 60 days, the impact fee $1,925 per subdivision home and $1,415 for each non-subdivision home goes into effect.

An additional $21 will be tacked onto each fee in order to pay a Sacramento-based consultant company $13,500 for conducting the city's impact fee study.

Once the $13,500 is collected, "that $21 will probably drop," Vice Mayor Curly Middleton said.

The builder fees are spent on maintaining Angels Camp's fire and police services, in addition to expanding its parks, officials said.

"The new (people) should pay for their share of city services," Councilman Paul Raggio said.

Not everyone agrees.

William Hutchinson, the only council member to vote against establishing the fees, knows what it's like to build a home. He built his 2,200-square foot Angels Camp home 15 years ago, and his building fees then totaled $4,500.

Hutchinson now estimates those fees including a $2,800 road-maintenance fee at about $25,000. "Builders are getting killed with all of these fees," he said as a handful of people in the council audience clapped.

And charges, such as the impact fee, only make the situation worst, he said.

"I understand the fees, but that doesn't mean I necessarily have to like them," Hutchinson said. "It definitely makes it tough on the individual builder."

Steve Difu, a recently appointed city planning commissioner, asked the council to hold off on the builder fees until the general economy improves.

"I'm just wondering if we need this right now as opposed to wanting it," he said. "We're in a tough time now, and it could get tougher."

Difu said he knows of homes in Greenhorn Creek that have been on the market for more than a year.

"We've got homes not selling," he said.

The Union Democrat
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