Cities delay fees to boost building

| Print |  Email
Archives - March 2009
Sunday, March 01, 2009
SPRINGFIELD In an attempt to boost residential building, the Springfield City Council in January approved a new program that authorizes it to defer all planning, building and systems development fees for builders until final occupancy permits are secure. Then in February, after hearing the testimony of the Homebuilders Association of Lane County, developers and business owners, the city decided to go one step further and offer the deferral of the transportation system development charge, which requires builders to cover the cost of wear and tear on roads damaged by their development. The city had previously planned to nearly double the fee.


“We wanted to help stimulate the housing market,” says Springfield development services director Bill Grile. “The deferrals are just some of the things on the table to help those who want to build new homes.”

Springfield acted fast. But it wasn’t the first and it may not be the last city to offer such incentives. Bend began offering similar deferrals almost a year ago, but not one builder applied for them, says Bend community development director Mel Oberst. “The problem is that the housing industry [in Bend] is bankrupt,” says Oberst. “We’ve got 1,300 finished homes sitting vacant.” Grile is more optimistic. Within a week of the program going into effect, two builders had filed for Springfield’s deferrals. Portland has similar plans in the works: It’s looking to consolidate permitting functions, which would streamline the permit process, making it more cost-effective for the customer, according to spokeswoman Alisa Cour.

Local builders see Springfield’s deferral program as an act of goodwill and are happy that the city has taken a leadership role, says Laura Potter, director of government affairs for the Homebuilders Association of Lane County.

To ensure Springfield recoups its fees, the city will retain liens on all properties until the fees are paid in full. Each builder must apply for deferrals by Oct. 15, and each is allowed up to six single-family or duplex housing units. The city council will meet again before the deadline to discuss whether or not an amendment to the deferrals is necessary.

For now, the reality remains unchanged. “There’s no financing for the commercial market, and no demand for the residential market,” says Oberst.     CHRIS MILLER


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

 

More Articles

Eco Zoned

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY HANNAH WALLACE

Travelers have always come to Oregon for its natural beauty. But will the increasing popularity of agritourism, European-style hiking getaways and forest resorts relax Oregon's notoriously strict land-use laws?


Read more...

The ancient fish that stops bullets

The Latest
Friday, May 08, 2015
hagfishthumbBY CHRIS NOBLE | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Hagfish may not have evolved much over the last 300 million years, but their protein-heavy slime promises advances in super-materials.


Read more...

Photo Log: The 2015 100 Best Green Workplaces in Oregon

The Latest
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
greenthumbPHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Oregon Business celebrated the 100 Best Green Workplaces with an awards luncheon yesterday at the Nines Hotel in downtown Portland.


Read more...

Stemming the tide of money in politics

Linda Baker
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
 jeff-lang-2012-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

Jeff Lang and his wife Rae used to dole out campaign checks like candy.  “We were like alcoholics,” Lang says. ”We couldn’t just give a little.”


Read more...

Queen of Resilience

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Astrid Scholz scales up sustainability.


Read more...

Urban renewer

Linda Baker
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
UnknownBY LINDA BAKER   

One year after he was appointed chair of the Portland Development Commission, Tom Kelly talks about PDC's longevity, Neil Kelly's comeback and his new role as Portlandia's landlord.


Read more...

Up in the Air

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY ANNIE ELLISON

Portland tech veteran Ben Berry is leaving his post as Portland’s chief technology officer for a full-time role producing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) aimed at first responders and the military. Berry’s AirShip Technologies Group is poised to be on the ground floor of an industry that will supply drones to as many as 100,000 police, fire and emergency agencies nationwide. He reveals the plan for takeoff.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS