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Cal Co Supervisors Adopt Final RIM Fee

After 18 years, several community workshops, a lawsuit, and a construction ban, Calaveras County has Road Impact Mitigation (RIM) fees for developers to help pay for county roads.

The program was passed by the Board of Supervisors Monday night on a 3-2 vote with Supervisors Tom Tryon and Paul Stein opposed.

The county will charge a RIM fee to residential and commercial developers at the building-permit stage. Schools, churches, libraries and medical facilities will be exempt. The fee is $3,300 per new single-family home and $1.90 per square foot of retail space.

Developers have until April 2 to submit their plans to the building department in order to avoid the fee. The fee raises money to improve regional and county roads impacted by new development. Residential and commercial fees combined would contribute $37.77 million to the program.

The $118.73 million balance would come from a district gasoline, sales, parcel, or transient occupancy tax, if approved by voters.

Stein told Council of Governments (COG) Executive Director George Dondero to bring back a recommendation for the tax vote. COG is the county´s regional transportation agency.

Over the past year the Board of Supervisors has overseen and moved along the development of a RIM fee program under threat of litigation. Plaintiffs in a successful 1984 lawsuit filed suit again in 2003 when it appeared supervisors would never adopt an equitable RIM fee.

In 1984 Phil Cain of Burson sued the county for having a growth inducing General Plan without addressing impacts of growth. As a result, a moratorium on construction was forced upon the county until the General Plan was updated.

RIM fees were called for in the 1986 General Plan update but were never implemented. Cain, Joyce Techel of Burson and Concerned Citizens of Calaveras County sued the county again for taking so long to establish a RIM fee.

Cain died in late 2003 but Techel has been closely monitoring supervisors´ RIM fee discussions. After the supervisors´ decision Monday, Techel said, “It´s over. There isn´t going to be a lawsuit.”

Calaveras Enterprise story by Vanessa Turner. For more Calaveras news, click calaverasenterprise.com