FAIRFIELD — The Bay Area boom in apartment construction has bypassed Fairfield because developers believe high city impact fees prevent profitably building apartments here, the city staff says in recommending a 50 percent cut in park and recreation development impact fees.
Fairfield City Council members take up the recommendation to reduce the $4,285 per unit fee to $2,143 when they meet Tuesday.
“We can’t lose development opportunities because of inflated fees,” Councilwoman Pam Bertani said. “We have to be competitive.”
“We’ve got to be in the game,” Bertani said.
Councilman John Mraz said he’s sought a reduction in development impact fees for two years.
“Sometimes the city doesn’t want to give up a dollar,” he said.
Two apartment projects totaling more than 600 units are stalled because of fees, according to the city staff report, while apartment construction in the Bay Area is soaring.
Discovery Builders along with DeNova Homes, both based in Concord, have concluded they cannot profitably build in Fairfield, the city staff report said. Representatives for Discovery and DeNova could not be reached for comment Friday.
The city staff said the collapse of the single-family housing market in 2008 forced many homeowners into rental housing and increased the competition for apartments throughout Fairfield. A staff review of development impact fees concluded the park and recreation fee could be reduced. The proposed cut would be in place until March 31, 2017. The change would reduce fees for the first 750 apartment units built within the next two years.
A total of $1.6 million is the maximum amount that could be lost because of the fee reduction, the city staff said. If the reduction wins approval, apartment development would face total fees of about $7,500 per unit.
The City Council updated the park and recreation fee in May to set it at the maximum rate. Council members meet Tuesday at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the City Council chamber at 1000 Webster St.
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.