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Impact Fees

Front area outside the Rancho Peñasquitos Library
Rancho Peñasquitos Library

PDF icon San Diego Municipal Code §142.0640 provides for the assessment and administration of development impact fees. The purpose of assessing development impact fees is to implement the City’s General Plan which contains policies related to the maintenance of an effective facilities financing program to ensure the impact of new development is mitigated through appropriate fees. Properties and land being developed in the City of San Diego are assessed a fee for public facilities. The fee is determined by the type, size and location of the development for the building permit being issued. Monies collected are placed in a City special fund by community, to be used solely for those public facilities specifically defined or generally described in the Development Impact Fee Plan for each community.

Development Impact Fees (DIF)

Development Impact Fees (DIF) are assessed throughout the city employing two types of methodologies; Facilities Benefit Assessment (FBA) and DIF. A Development Impact Fee in an FBA community historically has typically provided 100% of funds for public facilities projects within that community and are identified in a Public Facilities Financing Plan (PFFP). The dollar amount of the DIF is based upon the cost of each public facility equitably distributed over the remaining development in the community planning area.

In urbanized communities which are near buildout, as defined in the City’s General Plan, Development Impact Fees are collected to mitigate the impact of new development through provisions of a portion of the financing needed for public facilities identified in the Impact Fee Study, and to maintain existing levels of service for that community. Upon determination of the community buildout population, the estimated cost to construct the facilities is divided amongst residential and nonresidential development.

Development Impact Fees are one-time payments that must be paid prior to building or construction permit issuance. To learn more about payment of DIF, review PDF icon Municipal Code Section 142.0640. The General Plan – Public Facilities, Services and Safety Element contains a map displaying PDF icon Community Planning Areas by Financing Type (FBA and DIF). The City of San Diego’s PDF icon Trip Generation Manual provides vehicle trip rates for purposes of calculating development impact fees.

Citywide Park Development Impact Fee

Effective October 12, 2021, the Community Based Park DIFs have been updated to incorporate the Citywide Park DIF.  This fee will be applied to residential developments at building permit issuance, except in the instance where the Citywide Park DIF would result in an increase from any other applicable park component of a DIF until June 30, 2022.   

To determine a project’s Citywide Park DIF, enter the project’s assessor parcel number in the File Citywide Park DIF calculator.

More information can be found on the PDF icon Citywide Park Development Impact Fee Notice.

Active Transportation in Lieu Fee (ATILF)

This fee is required for residential and non-residential development projects located in Mobility Zone 4 and must be paid at building permit issuance.

The current Active Transportation in Lieu Fee is $1,400 per excess Vehicle Mile Traveled for residential and non-residential development projects.

To find a project Mobility Zone location, or if a project is eligible for the Active Transportation in Lieu Fee, enter the project’s assessor parcel number in the Active Transportation in Lieu Fee calculator.

For more information refer to the Complete Community: Mobility Choice Program

Regional Transportation Congestion Improvement Program Fees (RTCIP)

This fee is applicable only on new residential development. On-site affordable (low income) units may be exempt from the RTCIP fee. The fees was established to ensure that new development directly invests in the region's transportation system to offset the negative impact of growth on congestion and mobility. To learn more about the PDF icon City of San Diego RTCIP Funding Program, review the latest adopted program.

Housing Impact Fees (HIF)

This fee is collected for non-residential development and must be paid prior to the issuance of building permits. This fee is deposited into the San Diego Housing Trust Fund to meet, in part, affordable housing needs in San Diego. To learn more about payment of Housing Impact Fees, review PDF icon Municipal Code Section 98.0610.

Fee Deferral Program

The 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.

School Impact Fees

For information on School Impact Fees in the San Diego Unified School District area, please visit the San Diego Unified School District website or call 619-278-6720.

Civic Enhancement Allocation

Public Facilities Planning collects a Civic Enhancement allocation fee on behalf of, and as determined by the City's Commission for Arts and Culture. Non-residential development with a permit value of $7.3 million or more may be subject to this fee. To learn more about the Civic Enhancement allocation, contact the Commission for Arts and Culture.

Please be sure to visit the Development Services website for additional fees that may also apply.