Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Rogers Rejects Lower Fees for Affordable Homes

A Rogers City Council Committee killed a proposed ordinance establishing lower development impact fees in the Residential Affordable Housing zone. Under the proposed ordinance, homes of 1,200 square feet or less in the zone would get a 50% reduction in fees for residential water and sewer hookup.

Bill Burckart, member of the Northwest Arkansas Home Builders Association, said he had problems with the proposed ordinance to help provide affordable housing in Rogers. Burckart said the lower fees should not be tied to square footage nor should the proposal be tied to a single zone within the city.

Alderman Jim Clark sided with Burckart against the proposed ordinance. "I don't like the way the ordinance is written. I object to tying the ordinance to zoning," he said but offered no alternative.

Alderman Betsy Reithemeyer agreed and spoke against the proposed ordinance, arguing that all Rogers residents should pay the same higher hookup fees charged in Pinnacle. "If we want to do something for lower income families, then, we need to find some other way to do it." She did not say what that might be or if she wanted to do anything for low income families.

After the ordinance was tubed, Burckart then requested that he be placed on the agenda for the next council meeting to request that he be granted a total waiver of all impact fees for one of his subdivisions. Pretty gutsy, even for a developer.

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