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:
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.)