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Freeze Continues On Salt Lake City Impact Fees

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The Salt Lake City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to extend a 12-month moratorium on impact fees, which was set to expire Wednesday.

The freeze on impact fees means Salt Lake City will continue to forfeit money that would have otherwise been collected from developers to build public safety buildings, parks, trails, and streets.

In the meantime, the Salt Lake City Council is weighing a new impact fee schedule, which they’re expected to approve in mid-December. 

“My hope is that we get through this with a good amount of public input but quickly, because it is about a half a million dollars a month that we forfeit in impact fees,” says Councilwoman Erin Mendenhall.

The current proposal, which Mayor Jackie Biskupski forwarded to the council in October would raise fees on residential developments. Fees on commercial developments would drop.

Salt Lake City has had trouble spending the money collected in the heavily restricted impact fee account. The city recently had to return more than $400,000 because the money had to be used to build public safety buildings, which the city doesn’t need. Mike Reburg is director of the Department of Community and Neighborhoods.

“I think one of the problems before is we were much more ambitious about what we thought we could build,” Reberg says. “We think this fee structure now represents fees that we can collect and actually spend over a ten year period.”

The council could make changes to that schedule in the coming weeks. 

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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