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OKC Council Postpones Impact Fee Vote until May 3rd

After listening to several speakers at the OKC Council today, the Council voted to delay the vote on the Impact Fee ordinance until May 3rd. This was a victory for OKCMAR and others who wanted the City to delay a vote until City staff could work out a compromise on the commercial development impact fee.

MLSOK president, Nels Petersen, joined OKCMAR Government Affairs Director Gary Jones at the hearing. Mr. Jones spoke in support of the delay and also asked that the changes requested by the Central Oklahoma Homebuilders Association be adopted.

The plan for the next three weeks is for the commercial developers to select two individuals to represent them in meetings with OKC staff to negotiate a revised impact fee schedule. OKCMAR believes the current proposed fees are too high. Analyses conducted by different groups indicate the fee should be lowered to be more comparable to similar communities.

However, Council members voiced concern about the delay and stated very strongly that a compromise needed to be worked out, because there would be no further delay.

Key policy changes were:

  • To extend the phase-in period for the new impact fees to between 3 and 5 years
  • Extend the effective date of the ordinance form 6 months of adoption to January 1, 2017
  • Remove the automatic annual fee adjustment for inflation in favor of Council review annually
  • Exempt development projects that have already provided mitigation, but have not yet been issued a building permit
  • Remove local park bonding requirement and replace with a policy that after 50% of lots are developed, City can suspend further issuance of building permits until required park is built or the submission of a surety bond guaranteeing the construction of the park
  • Change the requirement that pools serve 10% of subdivision population to a more reasonable standard
  • Add a provision to the ordinance that allows a developers to challenge the reasonableness of a development fee amount by providing an independent development fee analysis
  • Change language for both parks and ordinances that would prevent the city from doubled dipping by requiring excessive capital improvements of developers

These changes were viewed by staff as doable. They will be working to make changes before final ordnance is adopted.

A second hearing on the ordinance has been schedule for April 26th. One week before the final vote on May 3rd.

By
Gary Jones
Government Affairs Director
OKC Metropolitan Association of REALTORS®

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February 11, 2016

Development Impact Fee: Oklahoma City Council to Consider

In an effort to find revenue to keep Oklahoma City from falling behind on infrastructure needs, the City of Oklahoma City has developed a proposed ordinance to adopt development fees. The purpose of the fees is to fund infrastructure expansions to streets, parks, and trails system to meet the demand generated by new development.

The development impact fees will be collected with building permits. All development types will pay street development fees. However, only residential developers will pay park and trail development fees.

OKCMAR is concerned and involved in the discussion because of the impact it will have on real estate development. OKCMAR wants to make sure that the fees do not deter construction of residential and commercial properties. OKCMAR is also fighting to make sure they don’t dramatically increase the cost of residential or commercial properties.

Over the next 60 days Oklahoma City Planning Director, Aubrey Hammontree, will meet with interested parties to hear their concerns and see what can be done to resolve them. On March 29th, a public hearing is scheduled to address the impact of the ordinance.

To learn more about the proposed ordinance and what the potential fees might be, click on the .PDF presentation below that was received by the members of the Oklahoma City Council.  Gary Jones, Government Affairs Director at gjones@okcmar.org with any questions!

IMPACT FEES