Con: Impact fees will push developers outside city

Bianca Montes By Bianca Montes

Sept. 15, 2013 at 4:15 a.m.

If Victoria imposed an impact fee, developer Bob Denison said he wouldn't have considered building here.

Denison developed the 44-lot Highland Hills subdivision near Ball Airport Road and another 150 lots in the Windcrest subdivision near John Stockbauer Road.

"As a developer, we already have a lot of fees and a lot of added costs," Denison said. "All of this gets passed down to the consumer."

In Victoria, developers are obligated to provide all infrastructure within their subdivisions, which includes water, sewer and storm lines.

Another fee, Denison said, would push developers out of Victoria.

An impact fee is a charge on new development that would pay for the construction or expansion of any off-site capital improvements needed by and benefiting the new development.

The City Council approved a $9 million certificate obligation bond Sept. 10, of which $2.9 million will go toward expanding Ball Airport Road from where it ends at Mallette Drive to Northside Road. Property tax revenue will repay the debt.

Denison said if fees continue to be passed on to the developers, they will either leave the area or build outside of city limits where those fees are not imposed.

"I can't develop and build the roads" outside the subdivision, Denison said. "I would have never developed if I had to."

Impact fees, he said, drive up the cost of new housing in the short term, which increases property value and in the long run lead to higher property taxes.

Impact fees also are up-front costs that could make it difficult for a developer to finance new projects.

"One fee leads to another," he said. "Don't get into the habit of charging the developer for every thing. It's not like Victoria wants to lose these people who are creating growth in the city."

Pro: Developers should foot the bill for new roads



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