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Calaveras Supes Tweak Developer Fees Plan

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Keeping state highway projects on the list of road improvement projects to be funded by a potential road impact mitigation (RIM) fee program gained unanimous support of Calaveras County supervisors Monday night.

The board directed Council of Governments Director George Dondero and RIM consultants, Economic and Planning Systems, to come back Dec. 1 with a RIM fee program reflecting that option. The Council of Governments is the county’s regional transportation agency.

The board considers six options, some of which excluded spending fee revenue on chosen proposed state highway and local road projects.

If state highways were eliminated “we end up in jeopardy of then not being in compliance with the General Plan,” Supervisor Paul Stein said. Under the advice of County Counsel Skip Batchelder, the supervisors met in closed session Monday night before picking an option.

Supervisor Tom Tryon who has adamantly opposed the county paying for state roads said, “With two broken arms I support Option 6,” the one that includes money for state highway maintenance.

Supervisors noted this option would make the RIM fee on new single-family residences $3,300 per unit.

“It sure beats the $5,000 (fee) we started out with,” David Sidle, a local developer, said.

Another change supervisors asked for two weeks ago was for staff to bring back alternatives when assessing the fee on commercial development.

Supervisors said a levy on commercial development during the permitting process would discourage developers and bring commercial growth to a halt.

Instead supervisors expressed an interest in some form of an exemption or deferred payment plan after development is completed. Dondero and the consultants are scheduled to come back Monday with those options.

If approved, the program would be administered by the county Department of Public Works, and the fee would be paid at the time a building permit is approved.

Still, RIM fees will not generate enough money to pay for all of the road projects. More money would come from a local gasoline tax, sales tax, and parcel tax, and increasing the Transient Occupancy Tax paid by motel and hotel guests if approved by voters.

Calalveras Enterprise story by Vanessa Turner. For more Calaveras news, click: