I'm a member of the community group working with the city on the proposed Major Street Traffic Impact Fee. Your characterization of efforts by city staff as "haggling" with the developers on the new fee is wrong. We've met weekly since August 2006 to sort through mounds of information and numerous issues to arrive at a fair and equitable fee supported by solid data and reasoning. A major stumbling block is the lack of accurate data.
Gathering information on available acres of development has been a time-consuming task. The result was an increase in developable acreage from the original city estimate of 10,000 acres to almost 16,000 acres. The amount of infrastructure the city first said needed to be completed was almost $700 million. After considerable analysis, the correct number is about $415 million.
Had all interests not had detailed discussions, the fee would have been based on grossly erroneous information. The time spent has been necessary, as the City Council put it, to "do it right."
As to the delay costing the city money, the council adopted a resolution making developments accepted after Jan. 23 subject to the new higher fee, not reducing revenue needed to pay for improvements.
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Building Industry Association
of Fresno/Madera Counties