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Tentative proposal would change impact fees

By Chatham Citizens for Effective Communities
Posted Tuesday, February 15, 2005

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A proposed motion to change the Educational Facilities Impact Fee Ordinance was brought up at the Board of Commissioners meeting on February 7,2005. The motion did not receive a second and Commissioner Barnes requested more time to study the proposal. The motion reads:

Motion by Bunkey Morgan on February 7,2005 to change the Chatham County Educational Facilities Impact Fee Ordinance.

I move the Chatham County Commissioners change the Chatham County Educational Facilities Impact Ordinance's districts and fees adopted October 18,1999 and revised October 7, 2002.

The new districts and fees would be defined as:

Northeast, consisting of property within the boundary of the Harrison, North Chatham and Pittsboro Elementary School Districts. The fee will be $4,000.

Northwest, consisting of property within the boundary of Silk Hope and Siler City Elementary School Districts. The fee will be $2,500.

Southeast, consisting of property within the boundary of the Moncure Elemertry School District. The fee will be $1400.

Southwest, consisting of property within the boundary of Bennett, Bonlee and JS Waters Elementary School Districts. The fee will be $0.

This ordinance change shall be effective on or after the 8th day of February 2005. This ordinance shall only apply to residential dwelling units for which building permits are issued on and after the effective date hereof.

Such a proposal raises some issues in our minds:

* The current impact fee is $1500 spread evenly across the county. This graduated proposal fosters a less than equitable situation within the county. Thus, a builder in the Northeast section of the county would have to pay a $4000 fee and a builder of the same home would not have to pay the fee if it were placed in the southwest.

* It appears to be discriminatory at the least and would further exacerbate the undesirable East/West divide in the County.

* It appears that seeking approval of a motion of this scope during a day meeting when most citizens are unable to attend and express their opinions is not conducive to open government and citizen participation. Such an appearance is further intensified when the agenda fails to make mention of the motion (see http://www.co.chatham.nc.us/Agenda/020705/020705A.htm ).

At their meeting on February 7,2005, the Board of Commissioners postponed discussion of this issue until their February 21, 2005 meeting at 6 p.m. The location yet to be determined.

 
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