Developers pursuing projects on the far western side of Lodi will have the option of building their share of storm drainage systems and neighborhood parks or paying the city a fee under a plan passed by the City Council Wednesday.
Since 1991 developers have had to pay impact mitigation fees to help pay for additional infrastructure and services — such as streets, storm drainage, parks, water, wastewater, police and fire — the city needs due to growth.
In Aug. 2012, at the request of developers, the council updated the impact mitigation fee requirements to allow developers to build their portion of storm drainage and neighborhood parks themselves. The developers argued they could build the infrastructure improvements themselves for cheaper than they were being charged by the city, Public Works Director Wally Sandelin said.
This caused an unforeseen problem, he said.
In its development agreement with the city the Lodi Shopping Center was required to pay storm drainage and neighborhood parks fees, but the new impact mitigation fee plan passed in 2012 did not have the cost of those fees included.
“In our ambition to eliminate those fees by putting all the obligation for construction on new development, we failed to approve the fees,” Sandelin said. “So we sit now with a project that’s required to pay a fee that doesn’t exist.”
The Lodi Shopping Center project will now have the option of doing the construction itself or paying the fees the council adopted Wednesday.
The new storm drainage and neighborhood parks fees apply to development in the area bounded on the Lower Sacramento Road on the east, the Woodbridge Irrigation District canal on the north, Harney Lane on the south and one half-mile west of Lower Sacramento Road on the west.
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