Plain City study will look at impact fees

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Plain City is looking at the benefits of an impact fee study that could potentially bring additional revenue into the village.

Representatives from Strand and Associates, a civil engineering firm in Columbus, gave a presentation to council during their work session on Wednesday explaining the process involved in implementing the study.

The study would be based on information gathered from Plain City’s existing comprehensive plan.

“One of the things council was hoping to have well under way by the end of the year is the implementation of some kind of impact fee district or districts throughout the community,” said Village Administrator Nathan Cahall.

If the study were done, it would be broken into two sections: traffic and utilities such as water, sewer and storm water of new developments coming into the village.

“The priority of the transportation portion would be focusing just on the roads, intersections, signals and wanting to create a defensible document—something the developers can’t change,” said James Hise, project manager with Strand. Hise would oversee the transportation side of the project.

The study would bring a “fair assessment” to all areas of the village so that council could use the impact fee where it would be most beneficial and where development will likely come in.

Study steps would include analyzing up to ten intersections in the village, creating models to process the data, preparing costs for existing needs versus the proposed development-driven needs and then distributing the cost differences based on the trips generated by different types of development.

If roads or intersections need updates, Hise said the cost would fall to existing residents.

“One of the things about making sure it’s fair and evenly distributed is we don’t want to create something that the developers see as too much of a burden,” Hise said. “We don’t want the developer to assess the fee and go just outside the city limits.”

He added that the goal with the study is to give the village something that can also be changed and updated as more development comes in.

Kris Ruggles, also with Strand, would oversee the water and sewer utilities side of the study.

“Utilities are very similar to transportation, the difference being with traffic, we look at a specific point, but with water and sewer lines we have to look at corridors,” Ruggles said. “There are some things to consider downstream of the areas.”

Steps for the water side of the study would include obtaining and reviewing existing information from the village’s water, sewer and storm water systems, then developing potential improvements to those systems as well as what would be needed for new developments.

The Strand representatives said they plan to deliver a report to the village that would look at development zones and where the new developments will be occurring and then create a fee structure for both the traffic and utility fees.

If the village decides to move forward with the study, it will have a base cost of $49,180. Depending on what traffic and utility data is available, the company may need to do addition studies on specific intersections. That would be an additional cost of $4,320.

Council hopes to begin the process of moving forward at their next regular meeting on June 24.



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