Fortuna the latest local city to kill development, affordable housing

The County of Humboldt, and many of our local cities, have made some really concerted efforts to ensure that the barrier to potential new development is simply too high for almost anyone to begin construction on new projects.

We expect it from Arcata. We expect it from the County. We even expect it from Eureka, nowadays.

But color THC shocked to hear that Fortuna has hopped on the bandwagon of greatly increasing traffic impact fees on new development. Fortuna, for cryin’ out loud!

That very thing seems set to happen in next to no time at all – the City leadership has scheduled an extended public hearing on the subject of implementing traffic impact fees for this coming Monday, February 6th.

You can read more about when and where the meeting is in this article, by Hunter Cresswell of the Times-Standard: Fortuna to hold traffic impact fee hearing

Now, as we’ve said before, traffic impact fees are all well and good. Fees are just part of the reality of development in this day and age. But when you look at the amount that Fortuna is proposing to charge new development, coupled with the fact that we are desperately in need of affordable housing and housing in general (as you can read more about below, in a few posts from THC’s “Build more housing, Assholes!” series), than it goes to reason that Fortuna is joining it’s neighbor’s to the North in declaring war on development.

From the Times-Standard article:

If approved as is, the maximum traffic income fee for residential developments would be $2,257 per dwelling unit, $3,285 per 1,000 square feet of commercial developments and $2,392 per 1,000 square feet of industrial developments…

It must be said –  the amounts of those fees are just plain bonkers. THC thinks that – if the wisdom of the City staff members who proposed these fees prevails – that Fortuna should just scrap the whole traffic impact fee thing and ban development altogether. That is, effectively, what huge increases in development costs will do in Fortuna, and are doing throughout the County.

There is some glimmer of hope, as Cresswell’s article notes that at least a couple of Fortuna’s Councilmembers have expressed reservations about the costs as proposed – here’s to hoping that smarter heads will prevail, and that Fortuna’s would-be developers won’t be saddled with rising costs that will kill their investments before they get off the ground.

You see, those same investments which regressives and anti-growthers love to demonize may very well be the only things that can save this County from even more dire housing and economic crises than we are already in.

Go ahead and read up on more of THC’s “Build More Housing, Assholes!” series:

California’s economy strong, but leaves housing and the middle class in the dust

Renters assistance programs in Humboldt? Build more housing, assholes!

Bonus! Here’s a THC flashback, an article that looks at when the County was considering traffic impact fees that were hugely out of scope and vastly over-expensive: County announces extra $2 million dollars in Measure Z Funding, new tax in same day.)



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4 Responses to Fortuna the latest local city to kill development, affordable housing

  1. Arcatan says:

    What exactly is it with elected officials? It seems as though as soon as they are elected they forget their frugal promises and think it’s okay to spend lots and lots of other peoples money.


  2. Anonymous Too says:

    Let me get this straight. Our community has a shortage of housing. Our politicians somehow think that adding thousands in fees to the cost of housing will bring us more needed housing? Does this problem start in our primary schools or is it in high school that we teach these people math that defies even the most basic of concepts of logic?


  3. I have a working theory with ongoing evidence that there is a strange, but consistent pattern of THC favoring the powerful over the vulnerable. So what gives here?

    The story or narrative is, even the once conservative City of Fortuna is going to make developers pay their way. What gives? We may be conservative, but we are fighting for the little guy, these increased taxes are only going to lead to increased housing prices. What about affordable housing? What about our problem with homeless?

    So is this an example of a break-down of this fairly consistent correlation? I guess it is if this is truly an argument for affordable housing and not one to reduce fees for developers to increase profits.

    There is no way to really tell what is going on of course unless we look at what our vested interests are and at THC these are always hidden. My money is on a fairly strong business or economic interest in development, real estate or land prices for many or most of AB THC and your AC (anonymous commenters).

    You really have to stretch the fabric of common sense to be so virulently against V, but then say you would like to reduce development fees for essential infrastructure for the cause of affordable housing.

    Sounds like good ole fashion baloney to me. This is about affordable housing exactly as much as “regressives” exist and are about anti-growth. Makes a great story though with protagonists and antagonists, that some people will tell all the way to the bank.

    See the link below for the value of our land on populist conservative governance. This has nothing to do with affordable land or housing and everything to do with profit.

    A related question that the conservatives and libertarians should be asking. Shouldn’t we, where possible, have those who use a resource, pay for the resource? That’s why for example conservatives would rather have people pay for their trip to a museum or for their children’s college rather than have the general public pay for it.

    Why the sudden interest in changing this conservative principle and have the public at large, through sales taxes or whatever pay for something that will benefit the specific land-owners in question, the developers of this land, and those that will eventually use this infrastructure?


  4. Just Watchin says:

    I think if your really dig down and investigate, you’ll find the real answer….it’s Rush Limbaugh and George Bush!


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