A Resolution Providing Notice Of Determination Not To Update Land Use Assumptions, Capital Improvements Plan Or Impact Fees For Santa Fe County Fire And Rescue Impact Fees
***The Notice of Determination Not to Update Land Use Assumptions, Capital Improvements Plan or Impacts Fees, attached hereto as Exhibit A, including the map attached to that Notice depicting the geographic area within which the impact fees have historically been applied and will continue to be applied, shall be published in accordance with the Santa Fe County Land Development Code requirements for noticing change-of-zone requests.***
In 1995, Santa Fe County approved the Fire and Impact Fee Ordinance (Ordinance 1995-04) to create a mechanism for the County to collect funds in unincorporated areas of the County for capital improvements related to fire, rescue, and emergency medical service provision via an impact fee, a process governed by the New Mexico Development Fees Act (NMSA 5-8-1 et seq). The intent of Ordinance 1995-04 is to collect fees based on the gross covered floor area of development in order to partially fund fire and rescue facilities and equipment, the demand for which is generated by growth in previously designated fire protection districts. Since its inception, this program has been an essential means to fund growth driven capital improvements in each of the Fire Department’s 14 Fire Districts.
In accordance with the New Mexico Development Fees Act, reviews and possible updates of the Land Use Assumptions (LUA) and Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) that support the impact fee are required every 5 years. The Act requires that, as a part of this process, a County Capital Improvements Advisory Committee (CIAC) review the LUA and CIP and file written comments on them with the Board of County Commissioners. The last update was completed and approved by the Board of County Commissioners in 2013. On the occasion of the 2013 renewal of the fire impact fees, the committee recommended and the Board agreed not to update the fees in part because the LUA were based on overly optimistic growth projections that were not realized due to the economic downturn. The current review and update is due in October, 2018.
The County is currently conducting a comprehensive 20 year Capital Improvements Plan that will examine current and future capital needs for the county and will also present a potential structure for the County to review impact fees on a County-wide basis. This study will be used to further examine the fire impact fees along with other possible development fees. In reviewing the current fire impact fees, the CIAC determined that it will benefit the County to derive the LUA and CIP from this study to better analyze the fire impact fees. It is anticipated that this study will be presented to the BCC in the coming months.
The CIAC duly met on September 24, 2018 and reviewed the LUA and CIP with staff. Based on the review of these documents and knowledge of the upcoming Countywide LUA and CIP studies, the Committee has determined that the LUA and CIP for fire impact fees should not be updated at this time. The CIAC has sent a recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners to support this determination.