Why Development Impact Fees are Necessary and Fair

By: David Carroll

At the January 8, 2024 regular meeting, council discussed a proposed increase to the current development impact fees. As presented by TishlerBise, Englewood’s current fees are one of the lowest in the region and legally could be increased. These fees are based on the principle that new development should bear its fair share of providing infrastructure that benefits the community. Infrastructure can be categorized as fire, police, parks, transportation, public art and museum/library services.

While increased fees for both police and parks were proposed, the most encouraging suggestion was a new transportation fee. A number of multimodal projects have been put on hold due to the lack of funding. Sixteen in total with a comprehensive price tag of over $48,000,000. Although not every city in the “fee comparison” has a transportation fee, it is widely understood that development impact fees are not only necessary and fair, but also beneficial for the community. Impact fees can help fund the construction of public facilities that enhance the livability, sustainability, and economic vitality of the community.

In the end, there were several concerns raised by city council that required more discussion at another study session. If you, like us, believe that multimodal systems can provide equitable, convenient, accessible transportation in addition to car use, then we encourage you to contact your city council member and let them know you support the new transportation fee.

Note from Niki: Impact fees are complex and nuanced and need to be evaluated for each municipality.  I encourage everyone to read this article from the Brookings Institute to gain an appreciation for what we can do with these fees as a city.