After more than 11 months of negotiation, a Task Force made up of development industry representatives, environmental advocates, hydrologists and citizens reached consensus on a proposal that would make permanent the citywide Mitigation Fee program in Charlotte’s Post-Construction Storm Water Ordinance (PCCO).
First adopted in 2011, the citywide Mitigation Fee option gives developers an alternative way to meet the on-site storm water requirements of the PCCO on redevelopment sites. The fee option, which is approved administratively, is currently $60,000 for the first acre of redevelopment and $90,000 for each additional acre or portion thereof. Some onsite control measures are still required for most sites to manage volume and peak flow downstream, but costly water quality measures are eliminated through payment of the fee.When the program came up for renewal last year, City Council voted for a temporary, 3-year extension, while convening a Task Force to consider whether the citywide Mitigation Fee should be made permanent.
The final proposal, which was agreed to by representatives from REBIC, NAIOP, the HBA of Greater Charlotte, the Greater Charlotte Apartment Association, Sustain Charlotte, the Catawba Riverkeeper, the Sierra Club, the Charlotte Chamber and other groups, would make permanent the citywide Mitigation Fee program, while modifying it as follows:
The Task Force did NOT address the Mitigation Fee program in place prior to 2011, which allows developers to pay a fee-in-lieu in transit station areas and the city’s Distressed Business Districts — a crescent-shaped swath of acreage around Uptown targeted for economic revitalization. The fee option in these areas was not evaluated by the Task Force, and will not change under the consensus proposal.
City Council’s Environment Committee will take up the proposal in February, with a targeted implementation date of July 1, 2016. The current provisions of the mitigation fee program will remain in place until that time.
REBIC believes the consensus proposal reached by the Task Force is one that will continue to promote the reuse of underutilized sites across the city, while also providing additional water quality protections for creeks and streams.
By making the Mitigation Fee permanent beyond transit station areas and Distressed Business Districts, City Council can ensure that Charlotte remains committed to revitalizing its older neighborhoods by encouraging sustainable, infill redevelopment that creates jobs, generates tax revenue, and provides funding for the rehabilitation of urban waterways.
REBIC is grateful to the efforts of our industry representatives in this important initiative:
You can find additional information about the task force here: http://charmeck.org/stormwater/regulations/Pages/2015taskforce.aspx
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