Chapter 4.56


4.56.010    Transportation impact fees.

4.56.010 Transportation impact fees.

A. Purpose. In order to implement the goals and objectives of the circulation element of the city of San Luis Obispo general plan, the 1991 short range transit plan, and the bikeway element of the 1990 San Luis Obispo County regional transportation plan, and to provide adequate transportation facilities to serve new development in the city of San Luis Obispo and to mitigate the impacts of that new development, certain public facilities and improvements must be, or had to be, constructed or purchased. The city council has determined that transportation impact fees are needed in order to finance these facilities and improvements and to pay for new development’s fair share of the construction or purchase costs of these facilities and improvements. In establishing the fee described in the following sections, the city council has found the fee to be consistent with the city’s general plan, and pursuant to Government Code Section 65913.2, has considered the effects of the fee with respect to the city’s housing needs as established in the housing element of the said general plan land use element.

B. Transportation Impact Fees.

1. Transportation impact fees are hereby established as a condition of any new development for which any of the following approvals or permits is required:

a. Approvals of land divisions pursuant to Title 16 of this code, including approval of lot line adjustments, certificates of compliance, parcel maps, tract maps and condominium conversions;

b. Land use approvals pursuant to Title 17 of this code, including rezonings or the approval of development plans, site plans, minor use permits, variances, but excepting approval of San Luis Obispo general plan/land use ordinance amendments;

c. For the issuance of any occupancy permit or final building inspection; and

d. All other approvals of real property development, which approvals are subject to the jurisdiction of the city of San Luis Obispo and which approvals are subject to the exercise of the discretion of the city council, planning commission, or community development director. For purposes of this chapter, new development includes any change of use or occupancy which increases the traffic service requirements of a development.

2. The said transportation impact fees are established in order to pay for needed facilities and improvements reasonably related to new development within the city. From time to time, the city council shall, by resolution, set forth the specific amount of the impact fees, the specific public improvements to be financed and their estimated cost, describe the reasonable relationship between the fees and the various types of new developments, and set forth the time of payment of the fees. Said resolution shall provide for a method of adjusting the amount of the impact fees on an annual basis to account for changes in the cost of construction or other considerations affecting the reasonable relationship between the fees and the cost of facilities and improvements on which the fees are based.

a. For any development other than residential, the resolution shall provide for payment of fees at the time of building permit issuance.

b. For residential development, the resolution shall provide for the payment of fees at the time of building permit issuance, except where the provisions of Section 66007 of the California Government Code, require the collection of fees to be delayed until the time of final inspection or issuance of a certificate of occupancy.

3. The city council shall, at least once every five years, review the basis for transportation impact fees to determine whether said fee is still reasonably related to the impacts of development, and whether the facilities and improvements for which the fees are charged are still needed.

C. Exemptions. The fees imposed under this chapter shall not apply to the following:

1. Other government agencies.

2. That portion of a structure which existed before the addition of dwelling units or the enlargement of floor area in a nonresidential structure. If a structure is destroyed or demolished, and replaced within two years from the date of demolition, the impact fees shall be based on the service requirements of the new development less the service requirements of the development which it replaced.

D. Applicant Construction of Facilities or Improvements. If the applicant for approval of any development project is required by the city, as a condition of approval, to construct facilities whose cost has been used in the calculation of impact fees which apply to that project, the applicant shall receive a credit for that portion of the total fees otherwise payable that are attributable to those facilities. If the credit exceeds the amount of the transportation impact fee due on the development, a reimbursement agreement with the applicant shall be offered. The reimbursement amount shall not include the portion of the improvement needed to provide services or mitigate the need for the facility or the burdens created by the development.

E. Limited Use of Fees. The revenues raised by payment of the transportation impact fees shall be placed in a separate account with any interest earnings on that account, and shall be used solely to:

1. Pay for the design and construction, including construction management, of transportation improvements described in resolutions adopted pursuant to subsection B of this section, or to reimburse the city for funds advanced from other sources to pay for said design and construction.

2. Reimburse developers who have been required or permitted to install portions of said facilities or improvements pursuant to subsection D of this section.

F. Fee Adjustments.

1. Each development is independent and no reductions to impact fees will be transferable to another development nor will an excess be refunded.

2. Any person whose new development is subject to impact fees may request a refund, of up to fifty percent of the street portion of the fee paid, if the sustained average vehicle ridership (AVR) is in excess of 1.6 AVR. A sustained period is considered to be one year. The percentage of refund will be the same as the percentage in excess of the 1.6 AVR standard.

3. Any person whose new development is subject to impact fees may appeal to the city council for a reduction or adjustment of those fees, or a waiver of those fees, based on the absence of any reasonable relationship between the impacts of that new development and either the amount of the fees or the type of facilities or improvements funded by the fees. The appeal shall be made in writing and filed with the city clerk, together with any required appeal fee, within ten days following notification that the fee is to be imposed. The appeal shall state in detail the factual basis for the claim of waiver, reduction or adjustment. The city council shall consider the appeal at an appeal hearing to be held within sixty days after the filing of the appeal. The hearing may be continued from time to time. The decision of the city council on the appeal shall be final. If a reduction, adjustment or waiver is granted, any change in the permitted type or intensity of land use within the approved development project shall invalidate the reduction, adjustment or waiver of the fee.

g. Unexpended Transportation Impact Fee Revenues.

1. Notwithstanding subsection (B)(3) of this section, whenever any impact fee, or portion of an impact fee, remains unexpended or uncommitted five or more years after payment of the fee, the city council shall make findings once each fiscal year with respect to the unexpended amount. The city council shall identify the purpose for which the fee is to be used, and demonstrate a reasonable relationship between the fee and the purpose for which it was charged. The findings required by this section need to be made only for monies in the possession of the city, and need not be made with respect to any letters of credit, bonds or other items given to secure payment of the fee at a future date.

2. The city shall refund to the then-current owner or owners of the new development project or projects, on a prorated basis the unexpended or uncommitted portion of the impact fees for which need cannot be demonstrated pursuant to this section. The city may refund the unexpended or uncommitted revenue by direct payment, by providing a temporary suspension of impact fees or by any other means consistent with the intent of this section. The determination of the means by which those fees are to be refunded is a legislative act.

3. If the city council determines that the administrative costs of refunding unexpended or uncommitted impact fees pursuant to this section exceed the amount to be refunded, the city council, after a public hearing, notice of which has been published pursuant to Section 6061 of the California Government Code and posted in three prominent places within the area of the new development project, may determine that the said fees shall be allocated for some other purpose for which impact fees are collected and which serves the new development project on which the fees were originally imposed. (Ord. 1256 § 1, 1994)