By Mario Conde
The Calexico City Council decided to table the discussion of whether or not reduce the impact fees to a future meeting.
The developer of the Gran Plaza Outlet Center requested the City to reduce all development fees consisting of Developer Impact Fees, Plan check Fees, inspection and permit fees related to the Gran Plaza approval, permitting, inspection, and construction.
Gran Plaza infrastructure engineers discussed their displeasure relating to the City’s assortment of fees, Impact, Plan Check, Inspection and Permit Fees. Staff explained and provided them with the Maximus Study, Taussing Study and Ordinances 1102 and 1036.
Infrastructure Engineers is holding firm on their positions that the Impact Fees developed in the Taussing Study are too high due to the timing and the source of development date used during 2005 when development was very active. This is where Corsair determines that he study is flawed.
City Manager Oscar Rodriquez said that while it’s true that development has dramatically reduced to a crawl, it’s also true residents are actually sharing expenses, which has translated to more residents per house than traditionally expected. Rodriquez added that study’s point is that regardless of the development trend, the facilities will be required at some point in the future.
“By taking a reduction now would then translate to a shortfall when the City will be in dire need of the facilities in the future.” Rodriquez said.
The City also received a letter from John McClendon who represents the Coalition for Honesty and Integrity in Calexico, CREED-21, Citizens for Honesty and Integrity by Calexican Officials, and other City of Calexico business, property owners, and residents. The letter objects to the Gran Plaza developers’ request for a reduction in its development, impact and other fees and implored the Council to support City staff’s recommendation that you reject Gran Plaza’s request.
McClendon warned the Council that if they approve the reduction they will be inviting a lawsuit against them.
“Gran Plaza’s request is beyond craven: It is insulting to the community and any honest elected official should and will deny it.” McClendon wrote in the letter.