Escondido, CA
Cloudy
Cloudy
58°F
 

Letter to the Editor: DEVELOPMENT FEES DON’T KEEP UP WITH EXPENSES

Editor, Times-Advocate

Except for the adjective, Readers generally agree w/article titled “Developer Fees in Escondido Rise Dramatically” (January 27, 2018).   Despite blunt facts, readers always prefer truth over pretense.   That is why Escondido’s “informed readers” can appreciate how this article accurately described facts by Jay Petrek (Assistant City Manager) to indicate even with development fee increases, additional revenue is not expected to fully offset foreseeable costs for public infrastructure, and capital improvements needed to support future development in Escondido.   The article accurately described how development fees cannot be applied to ongoing maintenance costs, or staffing to support infrastructure (or pensions.)

This translates to a reality that increased development fees discussed at Escondido City Council (December 6, 2017) were already at least a decade behind, since the 2% fee increase during 2016 was only the first fee increase since 2005.

In fact, to keep pace with development fees charged by other cities in north San Diego county, the increased development fees in Escondido are still expected to be second to the lowest, so some economists and public stakeholders in Escondido argue they aren’t expected to be enough.   This lag in revenue in Escondido is also consistent with fact that was also cited by Mayor Sam Abed in his closing comment during most recent Town Hall Meeting in fall 2017.

Escondido Chamber of Citizens (ECOC), a local nonprofit 501(c)4 organization prepared a position paper “Growth in Escondido and San Diego County,”  which identified the need for SANDAG to prepare a “nexus study” for regional government agency in San Diego to collect new form of revenue “Regional Development Impact Fees,” modeled after “Traffic Uniform Mitigation Fees” collected since 2002 by Western Riverside Council of Governments.   Your Readers are encouraged to review the ECOC position paper accessible at website for Escondido Chamber of Citizens.

PATRICIA BORCHMANN, Escondido

* * *

*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *