Concord Rejects Public Art Fee
With BIA|Bay Area voicing strong opposition, the Concord City Council rejected a proposed public art impact fee on new development or to establish a minimum investment level in public art required of projects. The council did, however, direct staff to craft an ordinance that mandates the inclusion of a publicly accessible art component in new developments through conditions of approval. Click HERE to view BIA’s comment letter from East Bay Governmental Affairs Executive Director Lisa Vorderbrueggen. Several city councilmembers during the hearing on Jan. 8, 2019, cited the negative impacts of a new fee on the city’s already anemic housing production levels as a key reason for their disinterest in setting a specific dollar amount. But since developers have voluntarily included publicly accessible art in several recently approved Concord projects, the council opted to mandate its inclusion without identifying a specific dollar amount. A number of Bay Area cities require developers to spend the equivalent of between a half to 1 percent of a project’s construction valuation on a public art installation or pay the city an in-lieu fee. Click HERE to view the city agenda and staff report. How Concord will ultimately define "publicly accessible art” and what types of development will be subject to the mandate remains an open question. Staff committed to involve BIA|Bay Area in a stakeholder process. For questions, comments or to be notified as the process moves ahead, contact Vorderbrueggen at 925-348-1956 or firstname.lastname@example.org.