Atlanta City Council triples impact fees for new homes

by John Yellig

The Atlanta City Council approved a measure to more than triple impact fees for new single-family homes. 

The increase, which has been under discussion off and on since 2010, will raise the current fee of roughly $1,500 per home to about $4,900, according to a city report, which notes that impact fees have not changed in almost 30 years.

The new fees will be phased in over two years, beginning Sept. 1, a spokesman for the Department of City Planning told Atlanta Agent.

In a statement, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said the increase is long overdue, noting that since the Development Impact Fee Program was established in 1993, Atlanta’s population went from declining to an increase of more than 25%. The fee program has not been adjusted for escalating costs accompanying this growth, nor have administrative changes been made to meet the increasing demand for services, Bottoms said.

By comparison, the city report noted, impact fees in neighboring jurisdictions range from about $2,800 in Roswell to $7,500 in Milton. Comparable cities have fees ranging from approximately $3,500 in Raleigh, N.C., to $15,000 in Miami. 

Impact fees, which are used to fund capital costs of roads, parks and fire and police services, will rise for other types of construction as well. 

Multifamily development fees will rise from about $800 per unit to $2,000 to $3,000 per unit, depending on the number of stories constructed. Retail/commercial fees will increase to about $5,900 per 1,000 square feet from around $2,000, while office developments, which currently pay between $1,200 to $2,800 per 1,000 square feet, depending on development size, will see fees grow to $2,900 across the board. 

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