Impact Fees

Principles and Practice of Proportionate-Share Development Fees

By Arthur Nelson, FAICP, James Nicholas, Julian Juergensmeyer

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This comprehensive reference book updates the popular, pioneering works on impact fees by introducing new methodologies, concepts, applications, and theories. The authors contend that it's time to go beyond narrowly defined impact fees to proportionate-share development fees broadly applied to publicly provided facilities and services and their operation.

Impact fees are one-time charges applied to new development to generate revenue for the construction or expansion of capital facilities outside the boundaries of the new development for system improvements engendered by the new development. At least that was the traditional use of impact fees. A generation ago, they were generally not used legally for the operation, maintenance, repair, alteration, or replacement of capital facilities; for social purposes such as affordable housing and daycare; or for "green" purposes such as habitat preservation. This book updates impact fee law, practice, and applications, and breaks new ground by showing how the impact fee logic of proportionate share can be used for these and other purposes.

Through actual ordinances, summaries of technical reports, numerous case studies, and model ordinances and codes, you'll learn how to design and implement a proportionate-share development fee program.

Product Details

Page Count
Date Published
May 1, 2009
APA Planners Press

Table of Contents

List of Tables

List of Figures

List of Acronyms


Prologue: Reflections on Impact Fees

Part 1: Foundations

Chapter 1: The Progression of Impact Fee
The Evolutionary Process
Impact Fees of the Future

Chapter 2: National Impact Fee Survey
What Qualifies as an Impact Fee
Some Caveats
Fee Incidence by State
Average Fees by Facility Type
Average Fees by Land Use
Average Fees by State
Fee Increases, 2004-2008
Fee Increases, 2007-2008

Chapter 3: Legal Principles of Impact Fees
Evolution of Impact Fees
Constitutionality of Impact Fees
Land-Use Regulation or Taxation?
Tests for Impact Fee Validity
Equal Protection Issues
The Taking Issue: The Rational Nexus Test Revisited?
The Relationship of Impact Fees to the Comprehensive Plan
State Authorizing Legislation
Drafting Impact Fees to Pass Judicial Scrutiny
Impact Fee Uses
Extending the Applicability of Impact Fees Across the Development Spectrum
Making Impact Fees More Sensitive to Affordable Housing and Other Societal Needs

Chapter 4: State Impact Fee Enabling Acts
Distribution of Enabling Acts
Eligible Facilities
Planning and Analysis Requirements
Substantive Requirements
Procedural Requirements
Recent Developments
A Cautionary Tale
To the Future

Part 2: Context

Chapter 5: Proportionate-Share Basics
Overview of Impact Fee Analysis
Policy Framework
Level-of-Service Standards
Service Areas
Procedural Issues

Chapter 6: Credits
Overview of Forms of Credit and Their Applications
Principles for Estimating Credit With Applications
Development Credits
Summary Observations

Chapter 7: Impact Fees and the Planning Connection
Impact Fees and Exactions
Capital Improvements Element
Levels of Service
Service Areas
Projections of Facility Needs
Schedule of Improvements
Description of Funding Sources
Relation of Impact Fees to Community Planning Goals
Summary Comment
Appendix 7A: Sample Capital Improvements Element

Chapter 8: Uniform Measures of Impact
Common Measures of Impact
Measures of Impact and Planning
The Need for Common Measures of Impact
Fire and Police Demand Multipliers: Calls for Service Versus Functional Population
Extensions of Functional Population: Toward Truly Uniform Impact Assessments
Appendix 8A: Review of Consulting Studies

Chapter 9: Variations of Proportionate-Share Fee Design
General Calculation Approaches
Review of Impact Fee Programs Selected Nationally
Florida Impact Fee Survey Findings

Part 3: Applications

Chapter 10: Proportionate-Share Fees for Physical Infrastructure
Are Impact Fees Needed?
Impact Fees for Public Facilities

Chapter 11: Proportionate-Share Fees for Social Infrastructure
Proportionate-Share Principles to Provide Workforce Housing from Commercial Development
Proportionate-Share Principles to Provide Workforce Housing from Residential Development
Proportionate-Share Development Fees for Other Social Infrastructure
Concluding Observations
Appendix 11A: Workforce Housing Linkage Programs in California
Appendix 11B: Sample Workforce Housing Mitigation Impact Fee Ordinance

Chapter 12: Proportionate-Share Environmental Mitigation Fees for Green Infrastructure
Legal and Economic Foundations
Case Study Application
Appendix 12A: Environmental Lands Impact Fee Draft Ordinance

Chapter 13: Proportionate-Share Fees for Operations and Maintenance
Transit Impact Development Fee
Transportation Utility Fees
Case Study: Aventura, Florida Transportation Operations and Maintenance Mitigation Fee
Summary Observations
Appendix 13A: Sample Ordinance Implementing Operations and Maintenance
Proportionate Share Fees

Part 4: Implementation

Chapter 14: Model Proportionate-Share Development Fee Ordinance
Principles of Ordinance Design and Drafting
Appendix 14A: Model Ordinance
Appendix 14B: City of Canton, Georgia, Road Impact Fee Ordinance

Chapter 15: Development Impact Fee Administrative Code
Appendix 15A: Sample Impact Fee Administrative Code

Impact Fees in the Future
Unification of Developer Funding Requirements
Expanding the Base and Scope of Infrastructure Funding Requirements
Innovative Funding Programs
State and Regional Impact Fees
State and Federal Funding to Cure Infrastructure Deficiencies

References and Selected Bibliography


About the Author


"In this single, comprehensive text, the leading triumvirate of impact-fee theory and practice shows us how to bring fundamental fairness and justice to impact fees with their transcendent guide to proportionate-share development fees."

—Dwight H. Merriam, FAICP, partner, Robinson & Cole, LLP and author of The Complete Guide to Zoning

"This is a 'must-have' for the land-use professional who is planning to write or implement a system of development impact fees. It is chock-full of charts, models, graphs, and tables that show just how to write and implement a development impact-fee code. The 'how-to' is nicely preceded by a thorough description of how impact fees came to be, their roots, their advantages, their legal bases, and pitfalls for the unwary."

—David Callies, FAICP, professor of law, University of Hawaii and coauthor of Bargaining for Development: A Handbook

"Impact Fees is notable for its comprehensiveness. It describes the history, policy basis, legal rationale, methodologies, and comparative trends of impact-fee systems throughout the country. There is much in this book that is new and informative and that will stimulate ideas."

—William Anderson, FAICP, director of city planning and community investment, City of San Diego

"Impact Fees is a 'must-have' publication for any public official responsible for paying for growth, capital budgeting, or comprehensive planning. It clearly lays out the conceptual and legal contexts for shifting the costs of growth and providing for long-term fiscal sustainability of localities. It is the only source that I am aware of that provides comprehensive data benchmarks that are invaluable for establishing planning and budgeting policy. This is the state-of-the-art for growth policy and fiscal management."

—Terry F. Holzheimer, FAICP, professor, Virginia Tech and Director of Economic Development for Arlington County, Virginia