County to defer some impact fee payments

Various impact fees collected by the County of San Diego from developers can now be paid before final inspection rather than at the issuance of a building permit.  

Although that deferral will allow the developer rather than the county to collect the interest, which accrues during the deferral period, the benefits to the developer may spur activity that would keep San Diego County residents employed.  A 5-0 county Board of Supervisors vote this month approved the first reading and introduction of the ordinance amendment, sending the revision to the supervisors March 25 for a second reading and adoption.  

“We have done a lot to stimulate local conditions,” said Supervisor Ron Roberts.  

In December 2008, the supervisors directed the county’s chief administrative officer to draft the framework and necessary ordinance changes to implement a fee deferral program.  The deferral only covers the construction of residential tracts or commercial buildings; fee payment for individual residences would still be required at the time the building permit is issued.

The deferral program would cover transportation impact fee (TIF) payments, Park Land Dedication Ordinance fees and drainage fees. It would also cover sewer connection fees to county sanitation districts and sewer maintenance districts operated by the county.

The impact fees would be calculated prior to the permit issuance, and a $175 fee would cover the staff time to administer the deferral. Payment by certified check would allow inspection and release for occupancy as soon as the day after the impact fee payments.  

“We all know what’s going on out there,” said Matt Adams of the Building Industry Association.  “Hopefully it’s issues like this, simple things that can be done like fee deferrals, that could help prime that pump.”  

Since the program is intended to help provide jobs, the fee relief program will have an automatic sunset of June 30, 2011.  

“We certainly look forward to discussion on further items that may lead to further economic recovery,” Adams said. “Hopefully we can come back a few months from now with some other ideas.”

   
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