PLEASANT VIEW -- Council members recently discussed various ways to use impact fees for the improvement of Pleasant View and listened to suggestions from Brandon Jones, of Jones and Associates, and Matt Millis, with Zions Bank.
"An impact fee is simply one charge made to a new development to pay for the expansion of existing facilities," said Millis. "Or it can pay for the expansion of existing facilities. Over time there has always been little adjustments to impact fees."
Millis said the term "Capital Facility Plan" has now changed to "Impact Fee Facility Plan."
"The law has changed. You have to include any assets you actually own and the cost at which you purchased land," Millis said. "Say you purchased land at $30,000 an acre but now it is worth $100,000 an acre, you can only include $30,000 of impact fees."
Millis said this has made things more difficult for cities because now they need to know not only actual costs, but historical costs on properties. He said donated land can complicate matters further.
Councilman Toby Mileski asked if impact fees aren't to be used for future land development.
Millis said they are, but that cities can also use funds from impact fees to pay back the debt on something they already own. He also said the level of service at properties should be taken into consideration. For instance, the playground, bowery and ballfield at a park would increase the level of service to residents for that piece of property.
Jones and Millis each said the city should look at future improvements and ways to use the impact fees the city has collected, and they should back this up with an impact fee analysis.
Jones said Lehi was involved in a big lawsuit with a challenge against what they said were parks, including a 70-acre gravel pit. Jones said it raised the impact fee considerably, but there was little chance Lehi would ever own the gravel pit or that it would become a park.
Millis said it is acceptable, however, for a city to want to raise the level of service and add more improvements to a property.
Jones said he would like to have a list of projects where the city could spend impact fees. He said Pleasant View currently has four parks: Pleasant View Park, Shady Lane Park, Barker Park and Wadman Nature Park. He said the city is considering six future parks, including one just south of Pleasant View Park.
He said property is also available for a possible park near the FrontRunner plaza.
Pleasant View also has possible plans for a gym/recreation center.
Community Development Director Bruce Talbot said the city plans to purchase property for future parks within a six- to 10-year time frame, a window of time in which the impact fees need to be spent.
"Anything envisioned that isn't in here now, get it in (the Impact Fee Facility Plan), because you can't use fees without identifying (the project) now," Talbot said.
Millis said if funds from impact fees are not spent in the defined time frame, they will have to be refunded to those who paid them originally.
"We haven't had that problem in the past," Mayor Doug Clifford said.
Millis said: "Before we turn the crank and get this out, have a good view of what you want to do in the next 10 years."