Chapter 8.50


8.50.010    Authority.

8.50.020    Application.

8.50.030    Intent and purpose.

8.50.040    Definitions.

8.50.050    Fee requirement.

8.50.060    Fee payment.

8.50.070    Authority for additional mitigation.

8.50.080    Exemptions.

8.50.090    Appeal.

8.50.100    Refund of fee.

8.50.110    Accumulation and use of funds.

8.50.120    Annual review.

8.50.010 Authority.

This chapter is enacted pursuant to the Mitigation Fee Act contained in Government Code Sections 66000 et seq. (Ord. 1400 § 1 (part), 2008)

8.50.020 Application.

This chapter applies to fees charged as a condition of development approval to defray the cost of certain transportation improvements required to serve new development within the City of San Carlos. This chapter does not replace normal subdivision map exactions or other measures required to mitigate site specific impacts of a development project including, but not limited to, mitigations pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act; regulatory and processing fees; fees required pursuant to a development agreement; funds collected pursuant to a reimbursement agreement that exceed the developer’s share of public improvement costs; or assessment district proceedings, benefit assessments, or taxes. (Ord. 1400 § 1 (part), 2008)

8.50.030 Intent and purpose.

The City Council of the City of San Carlos declares that:

A.    Adequate transportation improvements are needed to protect the health, safety, and general welfare of the citizens to facilitate transportation and to promote economic well being within the City;

B.    The City of San Carlos provides transportation improvements and services for residents, businesses, and employees within the City;

C.    Individual transportation improvements are part of an integrated system serving and providing benefits to the entire City;

D.    Mid-level of service “D” (volume-to-capacity ratio of 0.85) is the standard for all street and intersection improvements in the Circulation Element of the City’s General Plan;

E.    New development within the City will create an additional burden on the existing transportation system;

F.    Improvements to the existing transportation system in the City are needed to mitigate the cumulative impacts of new development and to accommodate future development by maintaining mid-level of service “D” on all streets and intersections;

G.    All types of urban development require and use the transportation system;

H.    There are not adequate public funds available to maintain mid-level of service “D” at all intersections in the City;

I.    In order to ensure that mid-level of service “D” is maintained, and to promote the health, safety, and general welfare of the community, it is necessary that new development pay a fee representing its share of costs of the necessary improvements;

J.    The traffic impact fee is based upon the evidence that new development generates additional residents, employees, and structures, which in turn place an additional cumulative burden upon the local transportation system and should be expected to pay a share of the new facilities, as more fully described in the City of San Carlos Traffic Impact Fee Plan Nexus Study, dated August 27, 2020, prepared by W-Trans (hereinafter “the Traffic Impact Fee Plan”);

K.    The purpose of this fee is to help provide adequate transportation improvements to serve cumulative development within the City. However, the fee does not replace the need for all site-specific transportation improvements that may be needed to mitigate the impact of specific projects upon the City’s transportation system;

L.    The transportation improvements for which the fee will be used are identified in the Traffic Impact Fee Plan, specifically Section 4 thereof, and include Holly Street improvements (widening Holly Street by ten feet within the existing right-of-way and making modifications to the 101/Holly Street interchange) and Brittan Avenue improvements, as more fully described in the Traffic Impact Fee Plan. (Ord. 1562 § 2 (part), 2020; Ord. 1400 § 1 (part), 2008)

8.50.040 Definitions.

The following definitions apply to this chapter:

A.    “Transportation improvements” includes all street and intersection improvements and related facilities and equipment identified in the Traffic Impact Fee Plan.

B.    “Mid-level of service D” means a volume-to-capacity ratio for a given street segment or intersection of 0.85 or better.

C.    Land use categories are defined as follows:

1.    “Single-family residential” use includes a single-family dwelling or small community care facility with six or fewer residents.

2.    “Multifamily residential” use means a secondary unit, duplex, townhouse, apartment, condominium, mobile home, multiple-family dwelling, or community care facility with more than six residents.

3.    “Commercial” use means all retail, office, and service commercial uses. Office uses include facilities primarily used for professional (legal, engineering, accounting), financial, insurance, real estate, and other office-related uses which do not provide primarily walk-in services to the public. Retail/services uses include facilities primarily used for the sale of retail goods and/or personal services, including all retail sales outlets, facilities for the on-site sale of food and/or beverages, and personal services such as laundries, cleaners, copy stores, hairdressers, etc. Service commercial uses include facilities primarily used for providing business- or auto-related services to the public such as auto repair shops, contractor storage and offices, and miscellaneous repair services.

4.    “Manufacturing/warehouse” use means facilities used for the manufacture, processing, or storage of goods.

5.    “Hotel” use means facilities used for the overnight lodging of guests.

6.    “Hospital” use means hospitals and other medical facilities with overnight patient capacity including skilled nursing and intermediate care facilities.

7.    “Entertainment/commercial recreation” use means theaters, health and sports clubs, and museums.

8.    “Churches and places of public assembly” use means church sanctuaries and related facilities, labor union halls, social clubs, fraternal organization facilities, and other places of public assembly.

9.    “Childcare centers serving the public” use means a place where any member of the general public may seek childcare, rather than a childcare facility closed to the general public, solely available to employees of a specific business, or operated by the business itself.

10.    Other Uses. The Zoning Administrator shall determine the appropriate land use category for any use not set forth in subsections (C)(1) through (9) of this section, based on similarity of use and peak hour trip characteristics of the use as indicated in the most current edition of the International Transportation Engineering Manual. (Ord. 1551 § 2 (part), 2019: Ord. 1400 § 1 (part), 2008)

8.50.050 Fee requirement.

A.    General. The amount of the proposed fee shall be six thousand one hundred ninety-six dollars ($6,196) per p.m. peak hour trip, adjusted annually based on the Construction Cost Index published by the Engineering News Record, and shall be based upon the following considerations:

1.    Development will pay its fair-share cost of road improvements described in the City of San Carlos Traffic Impact Fee Plan (dated August 27, 2020).

2.    Each type of development shall contribute to the needed improvements based on trip generation and the formula outlined in the City of San Carlos Traffic Impact Fee Nexus Plan (dated August 27, 2020).

B.    Types of Development Subject to the Fee. The fee shall be applicable to new development and redevelopment projects which require a planning application, expansion of floor area of existing uses which require a planning application, new single-family and multifamily dwelling units, and changes of use requiring a special use permit as follows:

1.    Residential Construction. Fees shall be charged for each new dwelling unit. No fee is applicable for remodeling or for an addition to an existing unit not resulting in a new dwelling unit.

2.    Nonresidential Construction. Fees shall be charged based on trip generation and the formula established in the Traffic Impact Fee Plan. No fee is applicable for remodeling or restoration only, where the floor area is improved or replaced but not increased. Floor area measurement shall be to the exterior facade of building wall planes or from the center line of party walls. Parking areas and exterior walkways are not included in the trip generation calculation.

3.    Changes of Use Requiring a Special Use Permit. Fees shall be charged upon the incremental difference between the fee calculated for the floor area of a prior legal use and the fee calculated for the floor area of the proposed new use.

C.    Land Use Categories Subject to the Fee. All land use categories identified in the City’s Zoning Code, Title 18 of the City’s Municipal Code, which generate traffic are subject to the fee.

D.    Formula. The amount of the fee shall be determined by the formula described in the Traffic Impact Fee Plan.

E.    The Zoning Administrator shall have authority to render final determinations regarding the appropriate classification of land use and the correct calculation of gross building floor area for a particular development project. (Ord. 1562 § 2 (part), 2020; Ord. 1400 § 1 (part), 2008)

8.50.060 Fee payment.

The traffic impact fee shall be paid in full to the City of San Carlos before the first building permit is issued. If no building permit is required, the fee shall be paid before a conversion of use may take place. The fee shall not apply to any project submitted for a building permit as of the date of introduction of this ordinance, except where otherwise subject to an existing development agreement. (Ord. 1400 § 1 (part), 2008)

8.50.070 Authority for additional mitigation.

Fees collected pursuant to this chapter are not intended to replace or limit requirements to provide mitigation of traffic impacts not mitigated by the traffic impact fee and created by a specific project, and imposed upon development projects as part of the development review process. (Ord. 1400 § 1 (part), 2008)

8.50.080 Exemptions.

Public park facilities, City buildings, school buildings, childcare centers serving the public, and those public facilities entitled to an exemption under law are exempt from the traffic impact fee. (Ord. 1551 § 2 (part), 2019: Ord. 1400 § 1 (part), 2008)

8.50.090 Appeal.

The developer of a project subject to this chapter may appeal the imposition and/or calculation of the fee.

A.    The appeal shall be processed in accordance with Chapter 1.25 of this code. An appeal by a developer of a project not requiring a planning application shall be to the zoning administrator.

B.    Notice of the appeal shall be provided in accordance with applicable provisions of this code.

C.    The appellant shall state in detail the factual basis for the appeal and shall bear the burden of proof in presenting substantial evidence to support the appeal.

D.    The appeal body shall uphold the fee and deny the appeal if it finds that there is a reasonable relationship between the development project’s impact on transportation facilities and the amount of the fee. The appeal body shall consider the land use category determination, and the substance and nature of the evidence, including the fee calculation method, supporting technical documentation, and the appellant’s technical data. Based on the evidence, the appeal body may also modify the fee. (Ord. 1400 § 1 (part), 2008)

8.50.100 Refund of fee.

A.    If a building permit or use permit expires, is canceled, or is voided and any fees paid pursuant to this chapter have not been expended, no construction has taken place, and the use has never occupied the site, the Director of Community Development may, upon the written request of the applicant, order return of the fee and interest earned on it, less administrative costs.

B.    The City Council shall make a finding with respect to any fee revenue not expended or committed five years or more after it was paid. If the City Council finds that the fee revenue is not committed, it shall authorize a refund to the then owner of the property for which the fee was paid, pursuant to Government Code Section 66001 or successor legislation. (Ord. 1400 § 1 (part), 2008)

8.50.110 Accumulation and use of funds.

A.    Traffic Impact Fee Fund. The City shall deposit the fees collected under this chapter in a special fund, the traffic impact fee fund, designated solely for transportation improvements.

B.    Use of Funds. The fees and interest earned on accumulated funds shall be used only to complete the transportation improvement projects specified, or to reimburse the

City for such construction if funds were advanced by the City from other sources. (Ord. 1400 § 1 (part), 2008)

8.50.120 Annual review.

The traffic impact fee authorized by this chapter, implementing Council resolutions, and supporting documentation, including the Traffic Impact Fee Plan, shall be reviewed annually by the City Council in order to make any findings required by State law, and to make any adjustments in the amount of the fee. (Ord. 1400 § 1 (part), 2008)