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Monday, 03 December 2018 09:11

Cumming Council approves impact fee ordinance

The City of Cumming has approved an impact fee ordinance designed to help fund roads, parks, library and public safety facilities in the city.

The council voted Nov. 20 to approve the ordinance which will regulate the use and development of land to assure that new development bears a proportionate share of the cost to provide infrastructure.

In August, the council approved the addition of a Capital Improvements Element to the city’s Comprehensive Plan. That measure was required in order for the city to impose and collect impact fees, and will now be approved by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and the Georgia Mountains Regional Commission.

Impact fees are a charge on development to pay for the construction or expansion of capital improvements that are necessitated by and benefit the development. Impact fees are not a tax but rather a part of the development approval process, similar to meeting site planning and zoning requirements. They must be paid when a building permit is obtained.

Council members questioned one portion of the ordinance related to credit in lieu of payment.

In lieu of monetary payment, up to 100 percent of impact fees due may be paid by the use of credits. However, the credits may be used only for the same fees.

For the city, the impact fee administrator is Planning and Zoning Director Scott Morgan.

A single-family detached home in the city, will raise over $4,000 in impact fees assessments. Councilwoman Linda Ledbetter questioned if this is in line with other cities.

In Forsyth County, the same single-family detached house would total more than $3,000.

City Attorney Kevin Tallant said the same company that worked with the city worked with the county to develop and study the fees.

Mayor Brumbalow said the assessment with the City of Milton is over $7,000 for a single-family home.

“It’s based on a study of what infrastructure improvements are needed based on the population,” he said. 

Tallant said this will apply to new houses being built because they will have an impact. Whether the house is on a new plot or a new house on an existing plot, the houses being built will create an impact. If it’s an old house being rebuilt, that will not have to pay an impact fee because the old house already was doing so. 

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