A development impact fee is a monetary exaction other than a tax or special assessment, which is charged by a local governmental agency to an applicant in connection with approval of a development project. The fee offsets some or all the cost of public facilities related to the development project.
These fees are commonly referred to as “AB 1600 requirements.” A development impact fee, by its definition, is voluntary and must be reasonably related to the cost of the service provided by the local agency. If a development impact fee does not relate to the impact created by development or exceeds the reasonable cost of providing the public service, then the fee may be declared a special tax subject to voter approval.
Stormwater quality is one potential impact of new development, which can be tied to a fee. Most new development is already subject to NPDES permit requirements for permanent controls, which mitigate many of the direct stormwater pollution impacts for a particular site. It may be difficult to demonstrate additional impacts requiring further stormwater improvements such as green infrastructure, but some municipalities have successfully implemented a stormwater impact fee to jointly support NPDES and green infrastructure needs.