Walnut Creek Moves to Hike Traffic and Housing Fees
Bolstered by an economic consulting firm’s findings, Walnut Creek planning and housing staff will propose a combination of a traffic and housing impact fee increases on new residential development they say the local market can withstand: a $4 per sq. ft. hike in its affordable housing impact fee and $849 per PM peak trip in its base traffic fee. If the City Council adopts the proposed fees at its meeting on Aug. 1, 2017, the city’s affordable housing impact fee for residential development will be $19 per sq. ft., up from $15 or a 27 percent increase, and the traffic impact fee will be $3,679 per PM peak trip, up from $2,830 or a 30 percent jump. The fees would go into effect in early October. Staff is proposing no change in the current $5 per sq. foot commercial fee for affordable housing. The new traffic fee hike is based on a significantly expanded transportation project list for which new developments must contribute towards the cost of construction. The city updated the nexus study and adopted the revised project list in 2016, which grew from 28 projects with an estimated cost of $39.4 million to 52 projects with an estimated cost of $82.1 million. On the affordable housing impact fee proposal, staff is also recommending the city eliminate the existing tiered fee structure for projects of 2 to 9 units. Additionally, staff is proposing the city retain its in-lieu affordable housing fee option for residential ownership developers despite suggestions earlier this year that it be replaced with a mandate to build the units on site. The staff report contains no reference to changes in the inclusionary percentages for low income units, which will be brought to the city’s planning commission and city council later this year. Click here to view the agenda and download the staff report and associated staff report, economic analysis and other documents. If you have questions or comments, contact BIA’s Lisa Vorderbrueggen at email@example.com or 925-348-1956.