Following months of outreach and efforts by FCBR and our business coalition partners the City Council adopted three of four proposed development fees at their June 6th Council session.
The Council adopted an option that included a significantly lower level of impact to housing that what was originally proposed in October of 2016. FCBR and our business coalition partners expressed a number of concerns about the level of funding increases that were proposed, as well as the level of community outreach.
Additionally, the Council voted to support the creation of a new citizen task group to address future fee structures and review time frames. FCBR will have a representative on this group to ensure that our concerns and input are heard.
Ultimately FCBR believes this was a significant win for relative housing affordability, especially for multi-family housing.
According to our calculations a 200 unit multi-family development will save in excess of $660,000 or over half of the originally proposed fee increases of $1.1 million dollars for these same number of units.
The adopted fees included the following items:
- Increased capital fees to fund parks, police, fire, & general government. These fees were adopted at the 75% level after concerns about the funding projections were called into question. This change has lead to a significant portion of the overall savings.
- Changed the formula and maintained the current level of funding that this fee brings in after we expressed concerns about at proposed 20% increase that was set to take place as housing would take on more of the burden than commercial developments. Again this was the additional cost savings from the original proposal.
- Finally they adopted electric capacity fees at the level initially proposed.
While these cost savings are very good news they only be temporary as the city will leverage the citizens group to determine if additional increases will still be needed.
For the time being we are grateful to have helped to save money for those working to help Fort Collins address our housing shortage.
Many thanks to the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce and NoCo Home Builders Association for their support of these efforts. We could not have had this success without their contributions.
Moving forward FCBR and our partners are committed to ensuring that development fees are being used appropriately. Look for more info coming soon with regard to this proactive effort to protect our housing future.
The City of Fort Collins is simultaneously considering updates to several fees (Capital & Transportation Expansion Fees, Water Supply Fees, & Electric Capacity Fees) that will have an impact on the cost to develop housing, especially much needed multi-family units. These items are currently scheduled to be discussed at an upcoming work session and a vote as soon as March.
FCBR appreciates that the city is choosing to assess all four of the increases at the same time so that our community can better understand the cumulative impacts on housing.
However, FCBR has expressed concerns since learning about two of the four proposed increases in the fall of 2016 that more community outreach be undertaken to increase awareness about the impact on housing costs. Additionally to assess community support for the change is calculations, level of funding sought, and phasing considerations.
Items of particular concern to FCBR:
- That people be considered over place
- That the city balance its need to fund future infrastructure with the needs to have housing available for average wage earners
- There has not been adequate public awareness/outreach campaigns & more time is needed for changes
- All funding levels included in the transportation funding study must be presented & considered
- That dramatic shift of cost from commercial (60% to 40%) to housing (40% to 60%) is harmful to average wage earners already on the margins
- The proposed fees will discourage smaller single family homes & will make it far more economically challenging for multi-family development which in turn undermines the vision called for in City Plan (Estimated increases of $1.1-1.7 in upfront costs on a 200 unit development)
- That overreaching fees may stifle the number of housing units being built and lead to increased market pressures & net less funding for the city’s infrastructure needs at the same time
- Development will be accelerated outside of Fort Collins increasing impacts to our infrastructure & climate goals, while decreasing funding for our infrastructure needs
In response to these potential increases FCBR is working to established a formal position statement, but in the meantime have offered requests & recommendations with regard to the fee decision process, and are calling on our members to take action to express their thoughts by contacting City Council members.
Fee free to use our items of concern above and/or request/recommendations below to help with your communications. Also consider just picking one or two and focusing on them with and emphasis on how this will impact your clients.
City of Fort Collins Website with Expansion Fee Info (FAQ & Projected cost increases)
- Transportation Funding Study
- Pg 5 & 6- Percentage Shift to Residential & High Range (recommended) vs Low Range increases
- Pg 21-25- Projected number of housing units
Contact City Council:
- Mayor Wade Troxell
- Mayor Pro Tem Gerry Horak
- Bob Overbeck Dist. 1
- Ray Martinez Dist. 2
- Gino Campana Dist. 3
- Kristin Stephens Dist. 4
- Ross Cunniff Dist. 5
Want to e-mail all City Council members and the City Manager at once? Use: firstname.lastname@example.org
FCBR Columns on Topic:
Input needed on new Fort Collins housing fees – October 16
FCBR Requests & Recommendations (Also see Items of concern above) :
- Continue to consider all fees in conjunction with each other while assessing each proposal on its own merits
- Take more time to conduct public education and outreach campaigns similar to other proposals (Fugitive Dust, Broadband, Short Term Rentals, Climate Action Plan)
- Consider all funding levels, especially with transportation expansion fees, to balance the need for fees with housing
- Consider phasing options for all fees- time & funding levels