Chapter 16.85
LOCAL DEVELOPMENT MITIGATION FEE FOR FUNDING THE PRESERVATION OF NATURAL ECOSYSTEMS1

Sections:

16.85.010    Findings.

16.85.020    Administrative responsibility.

16.85.030    Definitions.

16.85.040    Local development mitigation fee.

16.85.050    Imposition of the local development mitigation fee.

16.85.060    Payment of local development mitigation fee.

16.85.070    Refunds.

16.85.080    Accounting and disbursement of collected local development mitigation fees.

16.85.090    Automatic annual fee adjustment.

16.85.100    Exemptions.

16.85.110    Fee credits and waivers.

16.85.010 Findings.

The City Council finds and determines as follows:

A. The preservation of vegetation communities and natural areas within the City and Western Riverside County which support species covered by the MSHCP is necessary to protect and promote the health, safety and welfare of all the citizens of the City by reducing the adverse direct, indirect and cumulative effects of urbanization and development and providing for permanent conservation of habitat for species covered by the MSHCP.

B. It is necessary to enact and implement certain development impact fees to ensure that all new development within the City pays its fair share of the costs of acquiring and preserving vegetation communities and natural areas within the City and the region which are known to support plant wildlife species covered by the MSHCP.

C. A proper funding source to pay the costs associated with mitigating the direct, indirect and cumulative impacts of development to the natural ecosystems within the City and the region, as identified in the MSHCP, is a development impact fee for residential, commercial, and industrial development. The amount of the fee is determined by the nature and extent of the impacts from the development to the identified natural ecosystems and/or the relative cost of mitigating such impacts.

D. The MSHCP and the Nexus Fee Report, a copy of which is on file in the City Clerk’s office, provides a basis for the imposition of development impact fees on new construction.

E. The use of the development impact fees to mitigate the impacts to the City’s and the region’s natural ecosystems is reasonably related to the type and extent of impacts caused by development within the City.

F. The costs of funding the proper mitigation of natural ecosystems and biological resources impacted by development within the City and the region are apportioned relative to the type and extent of impacts caused by the development.

G. The facts and evidence provided to the City establish that there is a reasonable relationship between the need for preserving the natural ecosystems in the City and the region, as defined in the MSHCP, and the direct, indirect and cumulative impacts to such natural ecosystems and biological resources created by the types of development on which the fee will be imposed, and that there is a reasonable relationship between the fee’s use and the types of development for which the fee is charged. This reasonable relationship is described in more detail in the MSHCP and the Nexus Fee Report.

H. The cost estimates for mitigating the impact of development on the City’s and the region’s natural ecosystem and biological resources, as set forth in the MSHCP, are reasonable and will not exceed the reasonably estimated total of these costs.

I. The fee set forth herein does not reflect the entire cost of the lands which need to be acquired in order to implement the MSHCP and mitigate the impact caused by new development. Additional revenues will be required from other sources. The City Council finds that the benefit to each development project is greater than the amount of the fee to be paid by the project.

J. The fees collected pursuant to this chapter shall be used to finance the acquisition of the natural ecosystems and certain improvements described or identified in the MSHCP. [Ord. 1213 § 3, 2007; Ord. 1124 § 1, 2004].

16.85.020 Administrative responsibility.

The Community Development Director of the City shall be responsible for the administration of this chapter. Detailed administrative procedures concerning the implementation of this chapter may be established and set forth in a resolution adopted by the City Council. [Ord. 1213 § 3, 2007; Ord. 1124 § 2, 2004].

16.85.030 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

“Certificate of occupancy” means a certificate of occupancy issued by the City in accordance with all applicable ordinances, regulations, and rules of the City and State law.

“City” means the City of Lake Elsinore, California.

“City Council” means the City Council of the City of Lake Elsinore, California.

“Credit” means a credit allowed pursuant to LEMC 16.85.110, which may be applied against the development impact fee paid.

“Development project” or “project” means any project undertaken for the purpose of development pursuant to the issuance of a building permit by the City pursuant to all applicable ordinances, regulations, and rules of the City and State law.

“Final inspection” means a final inspection of a project as defined by the building codes of the City.

“Gross acreage” means the total property area as shown on a land division map of record, or described through a recorded legal description of the property. This area shall be bounded by road right-of-way and/or legal property lines.

“Local development mitigation fee” or “fee” means the development impact fee imposed pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

“MSHCP Conservation Area” has the same meaning and intent as such term is defined and utilized in the MSHCP.

“Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan” or “MSHCP” means the Western Riverside County Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan, adopted by the City Council on January 13, 2004.

“Ordinance” means Ordinance No. 1124 of the City of Lake Elsinore, California.

“Project area” means the area, measured in acres, from the adjacent road right-of-way line to the limits of project improvements. Project area includes all project improvements and areas that are disturbed as a result of the project improvements on an owner’s gross acreage, including all areas depicted on the forms required to be submitted to the City pursuant to this chapter and/or other applicable development ordinance or regulation of the City. Except as otherwise provided herein, the project area is the area upon which the project will be assessed the local development mitigation fee.

“Residential unit” means a building or portion thereof used by one family and containing but one kitchen, which unit is designed or occupied for residential purposes, including single-family and multiple-family dwellings, and mobilehomes on permanent foundations, but not including hotels and motels.

“Revenue” or “revenues” means any funds received by the City pursuant to the provisions of this chapter for the purpose of defraying all or a portion of the cost of acquiring and preserving vegetation communities and natural areas within the City and the region which are known to support threatened, endangered or key sensitive populations of plant and wildlife species.

“Western Riverside County Regional Conservation Authority” means the governing body established pursuant to the MSHCP that is delegated the authority to oversee and implement the provisions of the MSHCP. [Ord. 1213 § 3, 2007; Ord. 1124 § 3, 2004].

16.85.040 Local development mitigation fee.

To assist in providing revenue to acquire and preserve vegetation communities and natural areas within the City and Western Riverside County which are known to support threatened, endangered or key sensitive populations of plant and wildlife species, a local development mitigation fee shall be paid for each development project or portion thereof to be constructed within the City. The following fee shall be paid for each development project to be constructed within the City. The fees are calculated using an Equivalent Benefit Unit methodology:

Residential, density less than 8.0 dwelling units per acre – $1,860 per dwelling unit

Residential, density between 8.1 and 14.0 dwelling units per acre – $1,191 per dwelling unit

Residential, density greater than 14.1 dwelling units per acre – $968.00 per dwelling unit

Commercial – $6,333 per acre

Industrial – $6,333 per acre

A. The amount of the local development mitigation fee shall be calculated on the basis of the acreage of the project area, in accordance with the following:

1. The project area shall be determined by City staff based on the subdivision map, plot plan, and other information submitted to or required by the City.

2. An applicant may elect, at his or her own expense, to have a project area dimensioned, calculated, and certified by a registered civil engineer or licensed land surveyor. The engineer or land surveyor shall prepare a wet-stamped letter of certification of the project area dimensions and a plot plan exhibit thereto that clearly delineates the project area. Upon receipt of the letter of certification and plot plan exhibit, the City shall calculate the local development mitigation fee required to be paid based on the certified project area.

3. Where construction or other improvements on project area are prohibited due to legal restrictions on the project area, such as Federal Emergency Management Agency designated floodways or areas legally required to remain in their natural state, that portion of the project area so restricted shall be excluded for the purpose of calculating the local development mitigation fee. [Ord. 1213 § 2, 3, 2007; Ord. 1124 § 4, 2004].

16.85.050 Imposition of the local development mitigation fee.

Notwithstanding any other provision of the Lake Elsinore Municipal Code, no permit shall be issued for any development project except upon the condition that the local development mitigation fee applicable to such development project has been paid. [Ord. 1213 § 3, 2007; Ord. 1124 § 5, 2004].

16.85.060 Payment of local development mitigation fee.

A. The local development mitigation fee shall be paid in full in accordance with applicable law.

B. The local development mitigation fee shall be assessed one time per lot or parcel, except when additional construction or improvement on the lot or parcel results in the disturbance of additional area.

C. The local development mitigation fee required to be paid under this chapter shall be the fee in effect at the time of payment.

D. Notwithstanding anything in the Lake Elsinore Municipal Code, or any other written documentation to the contrary, the local development mitigation fee shall be paid whether or not the development project is subject to conditions of approval by the City imposing the requirement to pay the fee.

E. If all or part of the development project is sold prior to payment of the local development mitigation fee, the project shall continue to be subject to the requirement to pay the fee as provided herein. [Ord. 1213 § 3, 2007; Ord. 1124 § 6, 2004].

16.85.070 Refunds.

There shall be no refund of all or part of any local development mitigation fee paid under this chapter except in cases of overpayment or miscalculation of the applicable fee. Only in cases of overpayment or miscalculation of the fee will the person or entity that paid the local development mitigation fee be entitled to a refund. [Ord. 1213 § 3, 2007; Ord. 1124 § 7, 2004].

16.85.080 Accounting and disbursement of collected local development mitigation fees.

A. All fees paid pursuant to this chapter shall be deposited, invested, accounted for, and expended in accordance with Section 66006 of the Government Code and all other applicable provisions of law.

B. Subject to the provisions of this section, all fees collected pursuant to this chapter shall be remitted to the Western Riverside County Regional Conservation Authority at least quarterly, and will be expended solely for the purpose of acquiring and preserving vegetation communities and natural areas within the City and the region which support species covered in the MSHCP in accordance with the provisions of the MSHCP.

C. The City may recover the costs of administering the provisions of this chapter using the revenues generated by the fees, in an amount and subject to the rules and regulations established by the Western Riverside County Regional Conservation Authority. [Ord. 1213 § 3, 2007; Ord. 1124 § 8, 2004].

16.85.090 Automatic annual fee adjustment.

The fee established by this chapter shall be revised annually by means of an automatic adjustment at the beginning of each fiscal year based on the average percentage change over the previous calendar year set forth in the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers in the Los Angeles-Anaheim-Riverside area, measured as of the month of December in the calendar year which ends in the previous fiscal year. The first fee adjustment shall not be made prior to a minimum of 10 months subsequent to the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter. The fee, as adjusted annually, shall be compiled by the County Executive Office and shall be included in an annual report to the Board of Supervisors pertaining to the accounting for the Western Riverside County Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan fee as required by Government Code Section 66006. [Ord. 1213 §§ 1, 3, 2007; Ord. 1124 § 9, 2004].

16.85.100 Exemptions.

The following types of construction shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter:

A. Reconstruction or improvements that are damaged or destroyed by fire or other natural causes.

B. Rehabilitation, remodeling, or minor additions to an existing development project.

C. Secondary residential units, constructed on developed residential property and meeting all State and City requirements for such units.

D. Existing improvements that are converted from an existing permitted use to a different permitted use; provided, that no additional area of the property is disturbed as a result of such conversation.

E. Development on a project area that is currently or has been previously improved.

F. Guest houses or dwellings, as permitted by law. [Ord. 1213 § 3, 2007; Ord. 1124 § 10, 2004].

16.85.110 Fee credits and waivers.

Any local development mitigation fee credit that may be applicable to a development project, or any partial or full waiver of a local development mitigation fee that may be applicable to a development project, shall be determined by the City in cooperation with the Western Riverside County Regional Conservation Authority, which shall have an auditing role in this process. [Ord. 1213 § 3, 2007; Ord. 1124 § 11, 2004].


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Editor’s Note: This chapter was previously codified in Chapter 19.16 LEMC.