Revised impact fees to be considered Oct. 16 by Queen Creek council

The spreadsheet contained a formula error that understated the fire, police and parks fee amounts Above is a Queen Creek Fire and Medical Department truck. (Arianna Grainey, Independent Newsmedia)

A public hearing held Sept. 4 on proposed changes to the Town of Queen Creek’s impact fees has been continued to Oct. 16 because of a miscalculation on three of the amounts.

Residential and non-residential impact fees are one-time fees assessed to new development to pay for the new growth’s proportionate share of necessary infrastructure. The town assesses eight impact and capacity fees — transportation, parks and recreation, library, town facilities, wastewater, water, public safety, and fire — according to queencreek.org.

Scott McCarty

“It’s a regrettable situation. Town staff found the error. It was an error that was done by the consultant spreadsheet — it was their spreadsheet that they were hired to maintain and the town staff found that as part of the review of the final report and in preparation of adopting of the fees,” Finance Director Scott McCarty said to the Town Council.

The spreadsheet contained a formula error that understated the fire, police and parks fee amounts, he said.

For example, a report posted on the town’s website shows impact/capacity fees of $12,249 for a single-family home. With the correction of the error, this amount is now $12,648 — an increase of $399, Mr. McCarty said in a memo to the council.

“This now means the fee would decrease by $3,242 — not $3,641 — from the old fee of $15,890,” he said in the memo. “As for the non-residential land-use categories, it increases the previously reported increase. The amount of the increase will vary by the square footage of the nonresidential building,” he said.

Jackson Moll, vice president of municipal affairs for the Home Builders Association of Central Arizona, said he supports the continuance to Oct. 16.

He was part of a stakeholders group that looked at the impact fees, he said.

“Since the focus group wrapped up our work earlier this year, all parties have been operating under the expectations that the fees would decrease on July 1, which they did, and then come Jan. 1 there would be an increase of $172 per home, and my members have made business and investment decisions accordingly. Now, however, we are told that the increase will be $571 per home,” Mr. Moll said to the council.

He said the council could adopt the lower amount and give some time to increase it to the larger amount.

“This will give builders an opportunity to adjust their expectations and allow the market to recalibrate itself accordingly,” he said.

The council voted 6-0 on Sept. 4, with Mayor Gail Barney recusing himself due to a potential conflict of interest, to approve a resolution continuing the public hearing to Oct. 16.

The council meets at 5:30 p.m. the first and third Wednesday of the month at the Queen Creek Community Chambers, 20727 E. Civic Parkway, for ceremonial matters, committee reports and public comment before adjourning to a closed-door executive session in the Ironwood Conference Room. Public hearings are held after 7 p.m.

Editor Richard Dyer can be contacted via e-mail at rdyer@newszap.com or at twitter.com/rhdyer or facebook.com/RichardDyerJournalist

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