Developers to pay more for roads with fee hikes

A worker holds a stop sign as traffic lines up near the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Tres Pinos.

Developers will have to pay more toward upkeep of roads starting in a couple of months.
That’s because county supervisors Tuesday unanimously approved updated traffic impact fees that include significant increases across the board compared with fees approved in 2011. The increased fees, meant to pay for the impacts caused by new development, come as San Benito County experiences a housing boom of sorts, with thousands of new homes planned in the community.
Supervisors made the decision after a presentation from the hired consultant. That consultant, Michael Baker International, explained how the fee study took into account such issues as anticipated population growth, aspects of the General Plan, new roadway segments and bike paths.
The study report explained how it took into account planned road costs totaling about $400 million. A representative for the consultant at Tuesday’s meeting said about half could be picked up by the impact fees, with the other half from a proposed sales tax from the Council of San Benito County Governments on the June ballot.
The county supervisors OK’d the new fees, but wanted language to allow flexibility for certain types of waivers when developers provide coinciding community benefits.
While the fees are updated, the new structure also establishes three fee zones, with separate charges in each, to reflect variations in development and road impacts in various parts of the county.
In Zone 2, which covers the City of Hollister, the new impact fee for a single-family residential unit is set at $13,817 compared with $5,233 charged by the county and $5,803 charged by the City of Hollister currently, according to data in the report. The new multifamily fee is at $8,589 compared with $3,223 charged by the county and $3,574 charged by the city currently.

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