(Seguin) -- With the Seguin City Council set to adopt a new Thoroughfare Master Plan for the city, many may be asking -- how will the city pay for any of those projects? Well, the answer may partially come from a new proposed revenue source. The council is considering the creation of a roadway impact fee for the city. The fee would be similar to water and wastewater impact fees already charged by the city. The idea is to have developers share more of the costs for future developments.
Much like the thoroughfare plan, the city also worked with the firm Kimley Horn to develop the proposed roadway impact fee.
Assistant Director of Planning and Codes John Foreman says the new fee would provide additional revenue that could then reinvest in the city's growth.
"The impact fees that we're considering are really important as the city grows, because the way it is right now, we have our thoroughfare plan that's adopted and if somebody comes in and develops along that, they're responsible for improvements along there. If somebody comes in and develops away from that, away from those roads, they're not responsible for any roadway improvements except for those within their development -- even though, they're impacting the system. So, it's really not a fair situation and also the city is picking up the bill basically for those developments that aren't responsible for any improvements. So we saw it as a win, win for both, the city to identify way to fund its improvements and for the developers to have a more predictable and fair way of approaching roadway impacts," said Foreman.
Jeff Whitacre, of Kimley Horn, explained the data that was collected to come up with the ultimate formula that was used to calculate the maximum fee that could be charged in the four zones that were identified as part of the process. Whitacre explained that this fee would only impact new developments in the city.
"This is a one time fee. It's only accessed to new development. So this doesn't impact an existing home. This only impacts someone that's building a new development. The impact fee will be accessed at plat and final plat. So that means with a plat comes in, they will staple the schedule. But they don't pay the fee for building permit. The idea behind that is they're paying the fee when the traffic is generated," said Whitacre.
The roadway impact fee study presented to the council lays out the maximum amount that could be paid as part of development in various parts of the city. Foreman says those maximum amounts aren't what developers would likely have to pay. He says staff is working on a more universal rate that could be charged to any developer looking to build in Seguin.
"Because we have four service areas, we could actually have up to four different effective rates. So four different fees that people would pay. They felt that it was a better idea to have one city wide rate for several reasons that I'll go into. It's simpler to administer for staff. This is a new fee for us, a new process for us. One fee is a lot clearer and cleaner for us to go over. It's more clearer for developers. They don't have to figure out what area they're in, how much their fee is and if there's a need to adjust it within a service area, it can be. It's a fee adjustment. It's not a big process for council to reconsider. So that was some of the process behind the planning and zoning commission's recommendation and staff also seconds that recommendation. It feels like it's a good idea to have one effective rate," said Foreman.
The council voted to unanimously accept the data included in the study provided by Kimely Horn, but it was not asked to approve the effective rate that would be charged. That is expected to be presented at the council's next meeting, along with the overall adoption of the roadway impact fee.