CSAC Bulletin Article

UC Berkeley Terner Center Publishes Brief on Nexus Study Requirements for Impact Fees

December 3, 2020

Impact fees are expected to be a priority issue for the legislature during the 2021-2022 legislative session. During the last legislative session, several bills related to impact fees on residential development were introduced, which are covered in this bulletin article. While these bills stalled due to efforts for legislators to cut back on bills as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the discussion on impact fees is expected to continue in the upcoming year, and many of these proposals are likely to be considered once again in 2021.

In light of the discussion on impact fees, the UC Berkeley Terner Center for Housing Innovation (Terner Center) recently released a brief that analyzes fire protection, parks, transportation, and utility nexus studies in eight jurisdictions in California. The goal of the study was to examine how nexus studies are conducted and to identify areas for improvement.

The brief recommends that three actions be taken in order to improve the setting of fees:

  1.      Clarifying requirements around level of service
  2.      Tying fees more closely to direct impacts of new development
  3.      Incorporating consideration of feasibility and creating mechanisms for triggering review

A full copy of the Terner Center’s brief is available here.

CSAC will continue to advance the policy principles adopted by the Board of Directors, which include supporting transparency, reasonable certainty for development proponents, reasonable metrics for calculation of fees, options for fee deferral, and state regulatory changes to reduce fees. We will oppose arbitrary caps or fee waivers, including limitations on levels of service, as well as unreasonably burdensome reporting requirements. The CSAC Board-approved policy principles for housing impact fee legislation are available here

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