A new fee for developers could help fund park construction and improvements throughout Morrisville.
The Town Council asked the General Assembly earlier this year for permission to charge what’s known as a “payment-in-lieu fee” to developers of multi-family housing projects, such as apartments and townhomes.
The payments are made instead of requiring the developer to set aside land for recreation or open space. The money is earmarked for the town’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department’s budget. The money can be used for improvements at parks, or to build new parks and greenways.
Most towns frequently levy fees on developers of single-home subdivisions. Cary is the only other local town, though, that has received permission to apply the fee to multi-family developments.
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Now that Morrisville also has permission from the state, officials must decide how much to charge.
A public hearing is scheduled at the town’s next meeting July 28 at 6:30 p.m. Officials said they may also vote on it that night because they want to approve the fee before any new developments also come up for consideration.
“For the amount of money that these are going to produce, let’s get it done as soon as possible,” Mayor Mark Stohlman said. “We worked like crazy to get this voted on (in the legislature).”
Town staff suggested a fee of $1,572.64 per unit, which was determined after adapting a formula used for the single-home subdivision fees.
For example, Perimeter Park apartments, which have received preliminary approval, will have 250 to 275 units. If the staff’s suggested fee is applied, Morrisville would receive between $393,160 and $432,476 from the developer.
Council member TJ Cawley said Cary charges a higher fee of about $2,237 per unit. If the town used that fee, the Perimeter Park Apartments would generate $559,250 to $615,175.
“They have a valid number that’s accepted in their community,” Cawley said of Cary’s higher fee. “Why don’t we start there?”
Officials didn’t pick either the staff proposal or Cawley’s proposal, however. They will continue the debate at the July 28 meeting after the public hearing.
“I think people need a little time to think about this,” Stohlman said.
Doran: 919-460-2604; Twitter: @will_doran