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Development fees may more than double

Apartment and condominium developers pay $7,000 per residential unit, but fee may hike to $15,645.

December 21, 2013|By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com

Apartment and condominium developers may have to pay more than twice as much as they currently do in development-impact fees next year as some City Council members said this week the current fees don’t fully cover how much new developments cost the city in library and park services.

Developers currently pay $7,000 per residential unit, but the city may hike that to $15,645, which is what a consultant recommended in 2007. Originally, the fees were set purposely low, at $3,500, to help developers who were having difficulties securing financing during the protracted recession and to stimulate development in downtown.

The fees climbed over the years on a fee schedule that had been delayed several times, but they were never planned to jump to the consultant’s recommendation until now.

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The proposed fee increases come after Councilman Ara Najarian said he was concerned with the current development boom in Glendale, which may bring roughly 3,800 units in 21 developments to south Glendale.

So far, 434 units in three developments have been completed since last January and 1,340 units in seven developments are under construction.

“It is imperative that we set those rates immediately to where they belong and not subsidize these mega-developers anymore,” Najarian said during a City Council meeting Tuesday before council members directed staff to draw up a new ordinance increasing the fees.

City Attorney Mike Garcia said there was no timeline for when the ordinance will come before council for a vote, but if it passes, the new charges would take effect 30 days later.

The new fees would impact businesses that have yet to apply for the first stage of design review when the ordinance is approved. Developers would have to pay the full fee when they receive their building permits, Garcia said.

Community Development Director Hassan Haghani said he does not think the hiked fees will have an impact on the rate of development.

“We’re in a different time. It’s not 2007 and we do have a lot of development,” Haghani said during the City Council meeting.

Councilwoman Laura Friedman agreed.

“We have a good amount of development going on,” she said, adding that she’d like to explore charging a different amount per unit size.

In addition to increasing fees for multi-family development projects, single-family home development fees could jump to about $18,200, from $7,000.

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