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Council hires firm to study impact fees

July 16, 2002|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - City officials Monday night agreed to pay a Bethesda, Md., firm $17,400 to help determine how much impact fees should be for two developments that will bring another 4,100 homes into town.

Charles Town Council members also agreed to set up a mayor's capital committee to determine what type of new services needed to be added in the city because of the proposed 3,300-home Huntfield development and the 800-home Norborne Glebe development.

Impact fees are collected from developers to offset the costs of new services that are needed due to growth.

Some groups and individuals have been pushing for impact fees in the county to deal with anticipated population growth in the county.

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Last week, the Jefferson County Commissioners agreed to pay another Bethesda firm $53,100 to help them come up with an impact fee system for the county.

Charles Town City Council members hired a company called URS to help come up with its impact fee system.

When council members agreed to annex Huntfield and Norborne Glebe into the city last January, the agreement called for the developers of the projects to pay "proffers" of money to the city and the school system for each house built.

Developers of the Norborne Glebe development on the southwest end of the city agreed to pay $500 per house and developers of the Huntfield development along U.S. 340 south of town agreed to pay $700 per house.

Although the developers agreed to the fees, the agreement also allowed the city to hire its own firm to determine if the proffer amounts are enough to offset the cost of bringing the developments into the city.

That will be the role of URS, council members said Monday night.

Once URS makes a recommendation on what the impact fee should be, the city will go to the developers of Huntfield and Norborne Glebe to present the proposal to them for consideration, said council member Randy Breeden.

The developers have the right to do their own study if they do not agree with the amounts, council members have said.

Under the agreement, the proffer amounts will be reviewed every three years while the subdivisions are being built to determine if they are adequately offsetting costs of the developments, council members have said.

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