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PF council to keep talking about ordinance

Staff Writer | May 7, 2020 1:00 AM

The Post Falls City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to continue discussion to repeal an outdated ordinance regarding water and sewer capacity fees for new developments.

The city currently has in place a subsequent user fee ordinance, which allows developers that place sewer and water lines to developments outside the city’s infrastructure, to subsequently charge later developers who build in areas serviced by the infrastructure they paid to put in place, according to the city’s deputy attorney, John Cafferty.

By repealing the ordinance, the city would be encouraging orderly development that progressed appropriately with infrastructure.

Legal director Warren Wilson said the ordinance, as it stands, “encourages leapfrog development,” as it allows developers to jump out to where land is cheaper and receive help with the cost of the more expensive city services.

Since this was adopted the city has come up with other fees or ordinances that are more effective and could clash with this ordinance.

While the route has only been utilized several times in the city’s history, Wilson said it creates a situation where the city acts as an enforcement mechanism between two separate parties.

Mayor Ron Jacobson agreed with the repeal of the ordinance, as long as the city had the ability to enforce payment by other means and as long as “the city is not giving someone a free ride on the coattails of someone else.”

“The council has the opportunity to utilize other avenues to ensure people pay their fair share to get things done and bring infrastructure in,” Cafferty said.

The repeal would also clarify another matter, that the fee in place on the day a development application is submitted, will be the fee paid by the applicant.