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BUSD adopts updated developer fees

The Bonsall Unified School District approved an update to the district’s developer fee rates.

A 3-0 BUSD board vote May 15, with Michael Gaddis and Pascal Lapoirie absent, approved the new developer fees. The new fees per square foot are $5.17 for new residential development, $0.84 for new enclosed or covered commercial or industrial development, and $0.25 for new rental self-storage facilities.

The new fees will take effect July 14, or 60 days after the approval of the resolution adopting the new rates.

“We don’t determine the amount. The state does. We just have to make sure it’s appropriate for our local context,” said BUSD Superintendent Joseph Clevenger.

The State of California periodically adjusts the maximum developer fees a school district can charge, but the school district must have a study which demonstrates a reasonable relationship between the additional development and the need for additional school facilities.

On Nov. 15, the BUSD board voted 4-0, with Lapoirie absent, to approve a contract with Key Analytics for the Ladera Ranch company to perform the developer fee justification study which determined the necessary relationship between the fees and school improvements.

“It takes a look at the costs of building or improving school facilities,” Clevenger said. “It’s really important that new developments pay their fair share.”

The study predicted 1,136 future housing units which would create additional BUSD enrollment of 215 students at the elementary school level, 92 middle school students, and 57 Bonsall High School students.

The financial impact in 2024 dollars of additional facilities for those 364 students is $13,095,702, which equates to $11,527.91 per future unit. Based on an average square footage of 1,600 square feet, the cost impact per square foot would be $7.20, which justifies the $5.17 per square foot maximum fee.

The number of students generated by industrial and commercial development positions includes a formula regarding the percentage of employees who will have children in district schools.

The State Allocation Board sets a maximum fee school districts can charge, and the maximum amount is adjusted every two years based on the change in the statewide cost index for Class B (based on building amenities) construction. The maximum fees approved in February 2022 were $4.79 per square foot for residential development and $0.78 per square foot for commercial or industrial construction.

Author Bio

Joe Naiman, Writer

Joe Naiman has been writing for the Village News since 2001


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