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Kevin Jeffries Rallies For Lower Development Impact Fees

The newly sworn-in Riverside County Supervisor said today, "We need to strike a fine balance so that the area can enjoy some economic recovery."

Even though the cuts may need to be bigger to bring business back to some areas, a supervisor said today.

During an annual report on the county's development impact fees, newly sworn-in Supervisor Kevin Jeffries pointed out that Mead Valley was paying "the highest of all fees" in his district, discouraging builders from moving ahead with projects in the economically depressed community.

"The fees are so high that it's the last place commercial opportunities come to," Jeffries said. "We need to strike a fine balance so that the area can enjoy some economic recovery."

Mead Valley lies a few miles south of Riverside, just west of Perris.

"I get that the DIF funds are for infrastructure," Jeffries said. "But we certainly want to encourage the right types of development that fits with the community and creates job opportunities."

The Board of Supervisors implemented the development impact fees program in 2001 to mitigate the effects of growth in the region. Fees are imposed on residential and commercial developers and used to underwrite a variety of public improvements, including street widening, jail expansion, library renovations and the construction of fire stations.

Jeffries, who resides in Lakeland Village, represents the first district, which includes, among other jurisdictions, the cities of Lake Elsinore and Wildomar. He was sworn into office today after being elected to the post in November.

Development impact fees can range from a few hundred dollars to $9,000 per acre, depending on the size and scope of a project, according to county Executive Office documents.

In 2009, the board chopped fees by 50 percent to spur development in the sputtering economy. The fee reductions have been extended every year since then, with the current "temporary" reductions set to expire in June.

According to the Executive Office, DIF revenue peaked at $36.2 million in the 2005-06 fiscal year but has steadily declined, falling to just over $1 million in the last fiscal year.

Over the next 10 years, the county will use DIF funds to help pay for $410 million in capital improvement projects, with jail expansion among the top priorities, Executive Office analyst Serena Chow said.

Gerry Stevenson January 09, 2013 at 07:13 PM
Apparently Kevin doesn't know what impact means! Who will live with the consequences of the development? The residence who live here. The problem with developers and supporters of developers, they think short term and money and they do not take in the cost of increased population in so many areas. Yes I am already feeling sad about his being elected.
Roberto January 09, 2013 at 10:03 PM
One Voice 10:41 am on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 Until people stop voting for the same people over and over nothing will ever change at a City, County, State or Federal level. REPLY: Agree, Malicious Melendez is a poster child for this statement.
Diana January 09, 2013 at 10:29 PM
Jefferies should be the poster child he has been at this way longer then Melendez and i'm sure their is some crook to him it's just a well kept secret, as it is with Magee.
fact finder January 12, 2013 at 02:05 AM
While I can not speak to all of your comments and thoughts as I do not know Jeffries well enough to say he is bad or good. However, if you read the article above, you would have noted that the DIF fees were dropped by 50% in 2009. I believe it was Buste in charge then, how quickly we jump to attack anyone who has a different ideology then us. Also, I went to the last BOS meeting and have spoken to some residents in the Mead Valley area and not only did they express their appreciation for the lowering of fees but they have said it is a welcomed relief to allow local residents and business owners to play in the development game not just the big guys. Maybe we should look at the facts before we speak instead of attacking the with ignorance and emotion. We wonder why our government is running our lives.
DC February 15, 2013 at 08:44 PM
In 2000, Impact Fees were not considered a significant source of revenues for government jurisdictions. In most jurisdictions, impact fees represented between 3% and 5% of the sales price of the residential unit. In many jurisdictions in 2009, impact fees represented between 15% and 25% of the sales price of a residential unit. We are talking about Riverside, Inland, not coastal area, as an engineer working for developer, there is no profit to develop a mastered community with such a impact fee. Not to mention land development is a high risk business, never gonna know what the government will do to jeopardize your project.

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