City: Fee needed on new homes

July 01, 2003 11:00 pm

By MIKE MORRIS

A one-time fee of $1,925 on all new homes built within subdivisions in Angels Camp is needed to help fund varying city services, Angels Camp City Council members agreed last night.

Similarly, a fee of $1,415 would be charged on new homes built on single lots or property within the city.

An ordinance calling for the new-home fees was introduced when the council met last night. A public hearing on the proposed fees is set for the Aug. 5 council meeting.

If approved, the fees would help cover expansion of Angels Camp's parks, police services and fire protection facilities.

City Administrator Tim Shearer said that about two years ago, the council decided to move forward on establishing such impact fees, primarily to be used for one-time capital improvements and expansions, not for ongoing expenses such as employee salaries.

Maximus, Inc., a Sacramento-based consultant company hired by the council for $13,500, conducted a study of the fees. Its final report concludes that the fee is necessary, "to protect the public health, safety and general welfare by providing for adequate public facilities."

A Maximus representative told the council last night that the per-unit fees are legal.

But Paul Raggio, a council member, said the fee will place an added burden on developers and could slow or stop certain development in Angels Camp.

Vice Mayor Curly Middleton said other area towns, such as Placerville and Loomis, have similar fees in place and appear to be doing fine.

"I don't think if you're going to build a $200,000 house, that $2,000 will make a difference," Middleton said.

The fee-funded improvements — to parks, police and fire facilities — are needed to mitigate the impacts that new housing developments will bring to the city, the Maximus report states.

Combined, Angels Camp's three parks — Gateway, Utica and Tryon — take up nearly 4.5 acres.

To calculate impact fees for park improvements, the existing ratio of city-owned developed park acreage to population was used in the study.