Board to discuss impact fees

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— A consulting firm will give a presentation of the town's proposed transportation impact fee program to members of Town Board and Planning Commission Thursday night.

Jo Ann Higgins of Transplan will give a presentation of the proposed policy that would require new development to pay for roads at the meeting set for 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall, 178 Jefferson Ave.

Entering the meeting, each of the governmental bodies have reviewed the 14-page proposal.

The Planning Commission reviewed the issue July 12. Commissioners have voiced two concerns regarding the policy.

The Town Board got its first look at the document during its meeting July 19. Board members did not discuss the proposal in detail and requested time to read through the policy.

Town administration, with the help of Transplan, which did a traffic study of the town earlier this year, drafted the proposed impact fee policy.

If approved, the policy would establish transportation fees for new residential, commercial and industrial development within town.

The reason the impact fee is being proposed is the traffic study concludes the town's current transportation system is adequate for the town.

From the study, town administration and the consulting firm conclude that new roads will be needed as growth happens in Hayden.

Town administration is in favor of the impact fee because new growth would not be a burden for existing residents.

With an impact fee in place, current taxpayers would not have to fund the infrastructure needed for the growth.

However, trustees will have to decide on two issues that have been raised by the Planning Commission.

The first concern is if the fee will apply to existing buildings that are remodeled and renovated in the future.

The second is if the fee will apply to undeveloped property that has been mapped out by the town for residential development.

The Planning Commission is against the impact fee being enforced against renovated or remodeled buildings.

Commissioners fear an impact fee could stifle efforts to improve the town's historical downtown.

The commission also favors that some undeveloped property that has been mapped for residential development would be exempt from the impact fee.

Hayden officials are moving slowly with the issue. They don't want the policy to become a controversial issue as it did in neighboring Steamboat Springs.

In June, the Steamboat Springs City Council approved of an impact fee, a flat fee of $4,454. The fee applies to any new residential or commercial development.

Hayden officials are working with a formula to figure how much new development would have to pay in impact fees for transportation.

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