development. The recently released Revised Draft Environmental Impact
Report on the proposed 572-home hillside development showed it would
generate an estimated 316 students for the district. That's 116 more than
District officials are considering raising the mitigation charge to
developers from $2.05 per square foot for habitable space to $3 or $4.
Under the present rate, the Oakmont project would bring in about $4.1
million for the district -- not even enough to cover the cost of land for
a new school.
We at the News-Press believe the district is taking the appropriate
step in exploring the possibility of raising the mitigation fee. The fees
were instituted to ensure the district had enough school facilities to
support population increases brought on by new developments. If the
revenue generated by the fees isn't adequately addressing that need,
there's a problem.
As school officials have pointed out, local facilities are either
"maxed out" or overtaxed. This year, due to overcrowding, several
students will be forced to attend schools well away from where they live.
While we recognize increased fees would be one more bureaucratic
hurdle for the Oakmont developers to overcome, we expect the Greggs, the
developers of Oakmont V, would would want to make sure they have
adequately compensated the school district for the burden the hillside
project would place on it.
It's not always easy, or inexpensive, to be a good neighbor.