Alameda Unveils Park Fee Study
The City of Alameda released a revised park and recreation facilities impact fee nexus study with rates that are higher or very close to those charged in the city’s 2014 program struck down by a Superior Court judge in late 2016. As a result, Alameda city staff are recommending the City Council re-adopt at its meeting on March 20, 2018, the city’s 2014 park and recreation facility impact fees (after adjusting for inflation) based on the 2017 nexus methodology. If approved, the fees will match the city’s current rates of $12,377 per single-family unit and $9,822 per multi-family unit. The 2017 Willdan Financial Services nexus study concluded that the maximum justifiable fee for a single-family unit ranged from $14,273 to $14,546 and $9,769 to $9,955 per multi-family unit. Click here to view the staff report and associated documents.
BACKGROUND: In December 2016, an Alameda County Superior Court judge had sided with developer Francis Collins and his attorney, Tom Roth, who argued that the city improperly factored into its fee parkland the city already owned and had obtained at no cost. Initially, Alameda stopped collecting the park facility fees pending the completion of a new nexus study. Developers anticipated receiving fee refunds dating back to 2014 when the fee was adopted and were advised to pay fees under protest in order to preserve their legal rights. But the city quickly reversed course, resumed collection of the fee and appealed the Superior Court ruling. The staff report notes that the city hired outside legal counsel to assist in the drafting of the 2017 nexus study to ensure that it addresses the legal issues identified in the trial court’s decision. Click here to download and read the final judgment in Boatworks LLC vs. City of Alameda. Boatworks is a 9.4 acre project on Clement Street in Alameda, where Collins proposes to construct 182 multi-family units.