F’ville cuts development fees, hoping to spur economic growth

Lower the price of development fees to help stimulate economic growth? That is what happened Aug. 16 when the Fayetteville City Council unanimously approved a proposal to restructure the impact fee schedule that would lower fees and reduce the number of land use categories.

City Director of Planning and Economic Development Brian Wismer in presenting the proposal said the goals were to make the fee calculation system simpler, decrese the number of business categories, eliminate exemptions and lower the overall fees assessed.

Examples of the new fee structure showed the current charge of $1,858 for a single-family detached home dropping to $1,623, a decrease of approximately $234, and the impact fee for a quality restaurant such as Applebee’s decreasing more than $5,100, from $24,800 to $19,648.

Other examples showed the impact fee for a retail store such as Office Depot decreasing from $39,744 to $35,386 and the fee for a medical office building dropping to $33,360 from the current $42,446 charge.

Wismer in a July 25 letter said it is evident that the revisions will result in a cost savings to new development in the city.

Wismer said the measure also included consolidating similar land use categories into 29 categories. The city currently has 68 land use categories. Wismer said the new schedule eliminates various partial exemptions that have accumulated into the code over time and reduces the overall impact fee rates for all land use categories.

The study was performed by consultant Ross and Associates in conjunction with city staff.