Council adopts plan needed to set new development fees

Adam Curtis Public Affairs Press Releases

The Sierra Vista City Council voted unanimously to adopt a Land Use Assumptions and Infrastructure Improvement Plan, which lays the foundation for proposed development fees that will be considered in October and December.

The plan forecasts future growth and public improvements that will be needed to serve new residents and development. Adoption of the plan is the second of four steps required to implement new development fees that will be considered at a public hearing on Thursday, Oct. 22, before coming back for final consideration by the City Council on Thursday, Dec. 10. The fees would take effect on March 1, 2021.

Development fees, also known as impact fees, are a one-time fee on residential and commercial development that covers the costs associated with additional public facilities and services that will be needed for the new construction like public safety, roads, parks, and library services. In the past, the City levied development fees on police, fire, and infrastructure at 75 percent, which was offset by a 0.7 percent increase in the construction sales tax.

Under the current fee proposal that will be considered in October, the City would levy all development fees at 100 percent, while reducing the excess construction sales tax to the City’s standard sales tax rate of 1.95 percent. This would improve efficiency in budgeting and in meeting reporting requirements.

Under the proposed rates, a developer would pay $5,373 for a newly constructed single family home, compared to $4,095 using current rates if all fees were levied at 100 percent. That increased cost would be offset in part by construction sales tax savings, which would amount to an estimated $1,056 on a $325,000 home.

In other business:

  • The City Council voted 6-1 to adopt an Intergovernmental Agreement with Cochise County for Consolidated Court Services effective through Dec. 31, 2020. Council Member Kristine Wolfe voted not to adopt the agreement. The agreement is scheduled for consideration by the Cochise County Board of Supervisors at its Sept. 29 meeting.
  • The City Council unanimously approved a development agreement for phase 2 and 3 of the Casa Del Sol apartments, a low-income tax credit senior living community located at 1020 South Carmichael Avenue.

Details on these council items are available in the supporting documents for the Thursday, Sept. 10, City Council meeting. They can be accessed via the “City Council” folder on the City’s document server at docserve.sierravistaaz.gov/.

City Council meetings can be streamed live and past meetings can be viewed on YouTube. The meetings are also aired on Cox Channel 12. Learn more at www.sierravistaaz.gov/your-government/mayor-council/council-meetings/.