The possibility of changes to fee waivers offered to developers of affordable housing were discussed by the Tooele City Council during its work meeting last Wednesday.
Tooele City Attorney Roger Baker said the city has a provision in its code that allows the city to waive up to $5,000 in impact fees per dwelling unit for affordable housing. The provision was enacted back in 1996, but has not been updated since.
Baker said it would be appropriate to investigate if the city’s waivers are at an appropriate level after 23 years, but did not make a recommendation.
Tooele City currently charges four impact fees, covering water, sewer, public safety and parks. The impact fee per residential dwelling unit for water is $4,609; for sewer $2,290; for public safety $337.88 and for parks $2,168 — for a total of $9,404.88.
There is no automatic reduction to impact fees but affordable housing projects can apply for them, according to Jim Bolser, the city’s community development director
City Council Chairman Steve Pruden asked if it would be beneficial for the state Legislature to set an across-the-board percentage off impact fees for affordable housing, but Baker speculated the League of Cities and Towns wouldn’t be supportive.
Tooele City Mayor Debbie Winn said the city has granted building permit fee waivers to single-family housing projects through the Tooele County Housing Authority in the past. She said she went on a tour of eight homes built through the housing authority and was impressed by what she found.
“They take great pride in where they live, they are a great asset to our community and we are serving those that truly are looking for affordable housing,” Winn said.
The Tooele County Housing Authority is looking to build 12 more affordable single-family homes under its rent-to-own program in the near future, which prompted the discussion on impact fee waivers. The City Council discussed the possible change or expansion of impact fee waivers but did not take formal action at its meeting Wednesday.