Impact Fee Hearing Set For Sept. 11 at Planning Board

An impact fee workshop is scheduled for the planning board’s Sept. 4 meeting, after the Londonderry Times goes to press. Members of the planning board will be reviewing a proposed amendment to the impact fee ordinance that according to Town Planner Cynthia May will bring the ordinance up to date and into compliance with current statutes.

“The meeting will be a workshop in that the board members will have an opportunity to review the current impact fee ordinance and the amendments to the ordinance that will bring it into compliance,” May said, adding that she expects Town Attorney Mike Ramsdell to attend.
While the workshop is public, public input may or may not be available.

“Being a workshop, it is an opportunity for the board to become more familiar with the impact fee ordinance and it is more for them, although there have been instances where the chairman has allowed comment,” May said. “But that is not what this meeting is about.” Planning Board Chairman Arthur Rugg said time will be given for public comment on the impact fee ordinance update at the board’s Sept. 11 meeting.

“The Sept. 4 meeting is for the board to learn and grasp the ordinance as updated, and the public hearing on the impact fee will be on Sept. 11,” Rugg said Friday. “But Woodmont Commons is also scheduled for Sept. 11, so the public hearing on the impact fee ordinance will come after that.”

According to the amendment, the definition of an impact fee is “An impact fee is a fee or assessment imposed upon development, including subdivision, building construction, or other land use change, in order to help meet the needs occasioned by that development for the construction or improvement of capital facilities owned or operated by the Town, including and limited to water treatment and distribution facilities; wastewater treatment and disposal facilities; sanitary sewers; storm water, drainage and flood control facilities; municipal road systems and rights-of-way; municipal office facilities; public school facilities; the municipality’s proportional share of capital facilities of a cooperative or regional school district of which the municipality is a member; public safety facilities; solid waste collection, transfer, recycling, processing, and disposal facilities; public library facilities; and public recreational facilities not including public open space.”

The impact fee ordinance amendment is on the town’s web page at www.londonderrynh.org and states the purpose of the impact fees is to:
“Assist in the implementation of the town’s master plan, promote the town’s public health, safety, welfare and prosperity and to ensure the adequate provision of public facilities necessitated by the growth and anticipated growth of the town.”

The ordinance also states that the purpose of the document is to, “Assess an equitable share of the growth-related and anticipated growth-related cost of new and expanded public capital facilities to all types of new development in proportion to the capital facility demands created by that development.”

Impact fees when collected must be used by the town for its stated purpose within six years or be refunded with interest to the impact fee payer. The fees are imposed when there is new development, an increase in the gross floor area, or change of use if there is an increase in public capital facilities.

The town’s previous impact fees collected were audited under court order and that audit’s findings were recently released and published on the town website, as previously reported in the Londonderry Times. During the audit, the town stopped collecting impact fees. None are currently being collected. The proposed amendment is to rectify any statute issues.

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