Development impact fee changes supported by most building inspection commissioners 

A proposal to provide builders with some relief from development impact fees was supported Wednesday by a majority vote of the city commission that oversees building inspections.

Mayor Gavin Newsom’s proposed legislation, which is designed to help stimulate construction activity in The City, is scheduled to be reviewed Thursday by the Planning Commission. The Board of Supervisors is responsible for determining whether it will be adopted.

The legislation would allow the collection of some construction-related impact fees to be deferred until the constructed property is sold.

The majority of the members of the Building Inspection Commission said Wednesday that they supported the proposal because it would help kick-start construction activity, which would help create jobs.

Debra Walker was the only commissioner to vote against the legislation. She said she was concerned that the proposal would delay the mitigation of impacts caused by new developments.

“When market construction happens without the mitigation we have what we have on Rincon Hill right now, which is a lot of people living without neighborhood amenities,” Walker said.

Walker suggested investigating whether state loans could help fund the payment of impact fees.

“There are programs available that loan money to developers for mitigation fees,” she said.

The Associated General Contractors of America released results of a survey Wednesday that indicated 9 percent of Californian contractors expect the construction industry to recover this year; 47 percent expect it to recover next year; 30 percent expect a recovery in 2012; and 14 percent think relief could be three or more years away.

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