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Calaveras Supes Want Commercial Fee Waived

Commercial development should be exempt from the pending road impact mitigation (RIM) fee program for at least the next couple of years in order to encourage businesses to come to Calaveras County, a majority of Calaveras County supervisors said Monday.

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

Council of Governments Director George Dondero and RIM consultants, Economic and Planning Systems, offered supervisors three options to assess the RIM fee on commercial development. The Council of Governments is the county´s regional transportation agency.

The first option, which Supervisors Tom Tryon, Paul Stein and Victoria Erickson supported, is to exempt all non-residential development from the fee, and in a couple of years reconsider assessing the fee after there is some commercial development.

The second option was to assess the fee at the time of occupancy, giving developers a year after issuance of a building permit, which is the time when residential development would pay the fee. Supervisors Merita Callaway and Lucy Thein supported this option.

The third option was a payment plan for developers over a three- or four-year period. In addition to an exemption for commercial development, supervisors also expressed interest in some form of exemption or discount for affordable housing.

Supervisors directed the county counsel to come up with wording o include in the ordinance a provision to develop guidelines to be included in the RIM program in the future.

Supervisors said the affordable housing committee, suggested during the consideration of the housing element, should make guideline recommendations.

The board remained in support of program Option 6, which supervisors supported last week. It allows all state highway and local road projects to be funded by fee program revenues.

Supervisors will meet Dec. 1 to consider the introduction of an entire RIM fee program.

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