Sunday, December 10, 2023

Council to consider CIP, impact fees

| November 21, 2023 1:00 AM

COEUR d'ALENE — The Coeur d'Alene City Council meets tonight and will consider adopting Capital Improvement Plans totaling $123 million for parks, transportation, police and fire departments.

The move would allow "subsequent adoption of Development Impact Fees."

A public hearing is scheduled at the end of the meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the Library Community Room.

The city is proposing to increase development impact fees and annexation fees to pay for the CIPs. It conducted a study on the issue with the assistance of Welch Comer Engineers, FCS Group and Iteris. 

The existing development impact fee study was completed and impact fees were adopted in 2004. Neither the fees nor the study have been adjusted since. The annexation fee was last adopted by resolution in 1998 and has not been adjusted since. 

The Planning Commission recommended Nov. 14 that the council adopt the CIPs and to adopt the "maximum defendable fees" as presented. 

The commission also recommended establishing the accommodations fee as cost per square foot for hotels of 50 or more rooms and cost per room for hotels of less than 50 rooms.

Under one example, on an average, 2,300-square-foot home, the proposed impact fees in Coeur d'Alene would total $7,843. In comparison, they're $13,509 in Post Falls, $81,87 in Nampa, $5,997 in Hayden and $4,724 in Twin Falls.

New hotels would pay substantial fees. Under the proposed impact fees, an 89-room, 53,526-square-foot hotel would pay $325,487 based on a charge of $3,657 per room. Based on square footage of $8.87, the cost would be $474,775. 

Commissioner Sarah McCracken questioned why the proposed impact fees on new hotels were so high. 

Melissa Cleveland of Welch-Comer said those staying at hotels use parks and are the targeted audience. Parks would pay more than 50 percent of the impact fees on hotels.

Planning Commissioner Lynn Fleming proposed the fee be based on square footage for new hotels with more than 50 rooms, and based on the number of rooms for hotels of less than 50 rooms. 

The impact fees would fund future projects and improvements to keep up with growth in Coeur d'Alene in the next decade.

The total of proposals under the CIPs include: Parks, $16.9 million; transportation, $91 million; police, $6.7 million; and fire, $8.8 million.

Some argue impact fees raise the costs of housing.

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