Development infrastructure costs subsidized by existing taxpayers

EditorialBy Larry Stein

The city charges developers certain impact fees for new construction. I contend that the fees charged are insufficient, leaving taxpayers having to pay the difference via General Fund expenditures or debt service on their utility or property tax bills.

DevelopmentFeesThe following table illustrates the impact 3,000 single family homes with 3,4 and 5 occupants have on parks, schools and water.  Schools suffer the most impact.  The number provided demonstrate the scale of impact and represent an approximation of cost.

Developer impact fees for school are set by state law. Developers pay a little less than $5.00  per square foot in fees to impacted high school and elementary districts. 3,000 2,000 square foot homes would generate $30,000,000 in developer fees, 3,000 1,600 square foot homes would generate $24,000,000 in developer fees while the actual cost could be $200,000,000. School districts have to pay the difference.  Most of the difference is paid by local school bonds financed by existing property owners. I feel developers should be paying a larger share. Oxnard could impose a school impact fee of $20,000 to $30,000 per bedroom for those residential units that have more than 2 bedrooms.

I have asked the city council numerous times to have a study session regarding the impact new housing has on the infrastructure. Infrastructure   impact fees based upon the number of bedroom being built could be used towards parks, water, and public safety mitigation.

example …




Lawrence Stein is a degreed accountant with over 20 years of experience. He is a frequent public speaker at Oxnard City Council meetings and is running for Mayor.


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Citizen Reporter

Larry: wow- very sobering. If they levied full cost recovery fees, it would likely be a deal killer for much new development. But you’re right, existing residents are penalized for ambitious development.

Worse yet, governments usually deal with it by taking the path of least resistance and creating more and more debt, making residents and their grandchildren into debt slaves.