Most cities have development impact fees, or fees that help cities keep up with increasing development in their community. These fees often go towards maintaining and updating key infrastructure, public structures and utilities, and can even go towards special districts like schools.
We recognize that these fees are both costly and complex. They are rarely ever a flat rate, but are often based on user-defined values like square footage, number of rooms or beds (e.g. hotels or hospitals), or even number of screens (e.g. theaters). Sometimes these fees are charged based on geography and sometimes based on project type (e.g. new construction only), and sometimes both. And finally, most cities will offer a credit for the previous use, if it is of a lesser intensity.
OpenCounter handles all of this complexity and provides potential business owners with an estimate of these impact fees early on.
Example: Impact Fees with a Credit for an Existing Use
First, we learn what type of business and location in the city.
After, we determine the type of work (e.g. new construction or addition) and if there's a change of use.
If the applicant is only adding square footage, we ask how much:
If there's a change of use, we ask what the previous use was to determine if a credit applies.
Given a use and type of work, we can start to determine if an impact fee applies. Then using additional variables like geography, square footage, and previous use, we can calculate the fee more precisely. The example below lists several impact fees calculated for one jurisdiction.