Facilities Financing Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Development Impact Fee (DIF)?
Development Impact Fees are imposed on new development projects as a one-time fee typically at building permit issuance to mitigate the impact of the new development on public facilities. In 1987 the State Legislature adopted the Mitigation Fee Act (Assembly Bill 1600) to guide the imposition of development mitigation fees. The act was codified in California Government Code §66000 – 66025 and established requirements on local agencies for the imposition and administration of development impact fees. The code requires that agencies document the following five findings when adopting a fee:
1. Purpose of fee
2. Use of fee revenue
3. Benefit relationship
4. Burden relationship
What is a Development Impact Fee (DIF) Plan?
The City of San Diego produces Development Impact Fee (DIF) Plans by community to document the five legal requirements for establishing impact fees. The City currently prepares two types of DIF Plans, each representative of a different impact fee methodology: Public Facilities Financing Plan (PFFP) and Impact Fee Study (IFS). These documents identify a program of public facilities needed to serve each community in order to comply with the General Plan and respective Community Plan. DIF Plans may contain both detailed and general descriptions of planned facilities or public improvements by asset type. This information helps satisfy the legal requirements, but is not intended to supersede the actual City Capital Improvements Program (CIP), annual capital budget, or project detail. The DIF Plans serve as a vehicle to assess a fee that provides a valuable funding source for the City CIP to provide the public facilities described in both Community Plans and DIF Plans.
Can I defer payments of impact fees?
The current Fee Deferral Program allows for the deferral of Development Impact Fees (DIF) and Housing Impact Fees (HIF). Regional Transportation Congestion Improvements Program (RTCIP) fees are not eligible for deferral.
Does Senate Bill (SB) 1069 affect the assessment of Development Impacts Fees (DIF) on Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU)?
Effective January 2017, SB 1069 made several changes to address barriers to the development of ADUs and expanded capacity for their development. The new legislation limited cities’ ability to charge utility connection fees and capacity charges on ADUs. SB 1069 acknowledged that cities are still allowed to require that ADUs comply with development regulations and other appropriately-enacted fees. Under the current regulations, a DIF is applicable to each new residential dwelling unit.
Can I dispute my impact fees?
A second opinion is guaranteed upon request. If for any reason you disagree with the impact dees assessed on your development, contact the respective Facilities Financing Project Manager and ask for a second opinion. San Diego Municipal Code §142.0640(e) provides a formal procedure for filing an application for a waiver, adjustment, or reduction of development impact fees imposed.
Can I finance my DIF Fees?
If you qualify, yes. As a property owner developing property in the City of San Diego, a substantial portion of your DIF fees may be eligible for tax-exempt pooled financing through the Statewide Community Infrastructure Program (SCIP) of the California Statewide Communities Development Authority (SCADA). Under SCIP, SCADA periodically issues limited obligation improvement bonds on behalf of the City to provide financing for the DIF of qualifying property owners. More information on SCIP can be found on SCADA’s website at http://cscda.org/Infrastructure-Finance-Programs/Statewide-Community-Infrastructure-Program-(SCIP).aspx. For additional information, you can contact SCADA directly by email at [email protected]
What is the Capital Improvements Program (CIP)?
The Capital Improvements Program (CIP) is the long-range plan for all individual capital improvement projects and funding sources. CIP Projects are unique construction projects that provide improvements or additions such as land, buildings, and infrastructure. The CIP helps enhance the overall quality of life in the City by improving the physical structures, systems, and facilities that provide services to the community. The Citizen's Guide to Infrastructure Citizen's Guide to Infrastructure was produced by the Office of the Independent Budget Analyst and provides a foundation of knowledge about the City’s CIP.
The City’s General Plan provides a long-term vision and comprehensive policy framework for how the City should grow and develop, provide public services, and maintain the qualities that define the City of San Diego. Community Plans are components of the General Plan that also identify public facilities that are needed to serve the community and which are required to implement the General Plan. These public facilities are generally defined or described in Development Impact Fee Plans. The DIF Plans are therefore used in the City’s overall infrastructure planning efforts, but also used to provide a valuable funding source for the City’s CIP.