The Tehachapi City Council voted unanimously to raise impact fees related to park and recreation facilities for new developments during a regular council meeting March 15.

The resolution also included the modification of public impact fees relating to police and civic facilities to provide for annual increases based on the consumer price index.

According to Corey Costelloe, economic development coordinator, the city entered into a contract with Lechowitz and Sengh to perform an impact fee study update concerning parks and recreation and civic facilities in an effort to identify projects for future growth by partnering with the Tehachapi Valley Recreation & Park District.

Under the Tehachapi Municipal Code as authorized by the Mitigation Fee Act, the city collects fees annually in accordance with the city's improvement plans.

The city of Tehachapi is also required to provide a five-year report on the implementation of these fees.

The city adopted the following increases for civic facilities (CF) and park and recreation (PR) impact fees for new developments only when building permits are issued:

• Single family dwellings $2,056 to $3,814.32 (CF) and $2,137 to $3,401.47 (PR);

• Multifamily dwellings $1,354 to $2,565.75 (CF) and $1,267 to $2,288.04 (PR);

• Commercial $2,128 to $3,631.81 per 1,000 square feet (CF); and

• Industrial $1,059 to $1,808.11 per 1,000 square feet (CF).

Providing the councilmembers with a presentation was Alison Lechowitz, project manager.

"The (fees) recover the capital costs of facilities needed to serve growth so as not to burden existing residents," Lechowitz said. "They do not fund routine maintenance and operations and they are not paid by existing residents at all."

According to Lechowitz, these fees were based on a 20-year planning horizon.

According to her presentation, the city expects to fund $3.3 million in civic project costs to serve growth through 2041 and an additional $3 million in debt services for police headquarters.

Projects include a new public works building, civic center master plan, debt service on the City Hall Annex, and new development's share of Event Center infrastructure costs.

"The reason for this is because the citizens that live here now should not be subsidizing for new residents, and when you build one house at a time or a couple at a time, that developer doesn't typically build any parks and recreation facilities," said City Manager Greg Garrett.

According to Garrett, this was the first increase in building permit fees in 13 years.

According to the study, the city is expected to gain 2,600 residents over the next 20 years, with 1,800 new jobs generated.