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Development impact fees are monetary exactions that local governments charge to project applicants to defray all or a portion of the cost of public facilities or services related to a proposed project, or to accumulate the funds necessary for new capital improvements that will serve the proposed project. To avoid being held as illegal regulatory takings, these fees must be reasonably related to the cost of the services that will be provided by the local agency.
This issue of Zoning Practice discusses the legal standards applicable to impact fee programs, including constitutional requirements; identifies distinctions between development impact fees and other land use-related exactions; examines commonalities between impact fee programs used in jurisdictions across the country; and provides recommendations for local agencies seeking to establish a valid impact fee program.
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