On January 24, 2018, the State Allocation Board approved substantial increases in residential and commercial-industrial school facility fees (“developer fees”) to $3.79 and $0.61 per square foot, respectively, from the current rates of $3.48 and $0.56, respectively. School districts may now adopt these higher rates by Board resolution.
These fees are “Level 1” fees which require a justification report and a public hearing at a board meeting to adopt an appropriate resolution. The more extensive “needs analysis” required for the higher “Level 2” fees in place in some districts is not required for these fees. Also, in contrast to “Level 2” fees, “Level 1” fees, once increased remain in effect indefinitely and need not be readopted every year.
In the case of non-unified districts, the total fees must be divided between the elementary and high school districts by means of a written allocation agreement.
There are specific notice requirements which must be followed, including publishing notice of the public hearing on the resolution, posting agenda notice, mailing notice to those who have requests for notices on file, and giving notice of the increased fees to the planning departments of the city or cities and county in which the district is located. Increased fees go into effect 60 days after a resolution is adopted, however a district can adopt urgency resolutions to implement the higher fees immediately.
Your district's current justification report may or may not be adequate to support the increased fees, depending on its date and contents. We would be pleased to answer any questions you may have concerning legal review of justification documents, calendaring of steps for a fee increase, and preparation of resolutions and notices.