Wildomar takes the beginning steps of deferring fees for some development projects

Members of the Wildomar City Council approved a change to a city ordinance, Oct. 3, which will allow some developers to delay payment of developer impact fees until later.

Councilmember Marsha Swanson, Councilmember Dustin Nigg and Mayor Tim Walker were present during a special meeting Tuesday morning, and they unanimously approved the change to an ordinance dealing with the fees.

Cities can legally charge developers fees to offset or reduce the impact they have on public facilities or infrastructure, but the fees can be high and can deter builders from starting projects.

Swanson said in a telephone interview that the city is hoping to make it easier for some smaller developers to get their projects done by putting those fees off.

Developers would pay the fees in payments at 2 percent interest, and the money would go into a fund for a community center the city is hoping to build in the future, she said.

Swanson said the deferment wouldn’t apply to all developers. It would only apply to those developers who must go through the city for their projects.

Those developers would probably be on the smaller side too.

“We’re thinking, and it’s not written yet, maybe an under 50,000-square-foot commercial project and somebody building maybe up to 10 homes at a time,” Swanson said. “It’s not meant for the big builders; it’s meant to help the smaller guy who just can’t come up with the cash all at once.”

Swanson said that the city is still in the early stages of making deferment a possibility for some developers. She said council will be looking at a specific ordinance in January that will detail exactly who would be eligible and what they would need to qualify to have their fees deferred.

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