Saturday, February 16, 2008

Rematch on Road Impact Fees

It looks like Vice Mayor Lioneld Jordan and Republican businessman Jeff Koenig are about to square off again and have another go at it. Koenig led a group of developers, real estate salesmen, and Cowbirds who spent almost $50,000 to get a tie vote killing road impact fees that would have made them pay their fair share of dealing with the sprawl they are creating, but Jordan appears undaunted.

As the local developers continued last summer to scheme for a way to make citizens pay for their sprawl and congestion, Jordan announced that he would be back with a revised road impact fee proposal. Planning Director Tim Conklin says the requested research is almost complete, and The Morning News reports that Alderman Jordan, the biggest proponent of road impact fees on the city council, said he's eager to get to work on a tiered system taking home size and location into account in the fee structure. Jordan is also looking at reduced fees for affordable housing and LEED certified commercial buildings. A few months' delay over the winter as the council grappled with Fayetteville's 2008 budget and proposed water and sewer rate changes isn't a concern, he added.

The City Council should carefully consider Jordan's revised proposal and enact it with due dispatch. If Mayor Coody again insists in referring it to a public vote so the developers can mount another media campaign against it and outspend the supporters, then let's have it at the general election in November. That way, voters can make a clear choice between Jordan's progressive impact fees and Koenig's recalcitrant opposition to them at the same time we choose a new mayor.

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