by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVEâ€”The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday agreed on a short-term reduction in developer fees to encourage residential growth within the village. The package includes a $5,000 reduction in impact fees and the elimination of transition fees.
The reductions will be in effect for up to 35 homes and until at least Oct. 31, 2010, with some trustees arguing for an extension to Dec. 31 of next year.
â€œI’m not confident that it will spur the economy, but I think it might encourage some people to take a look at Sugar Grove,â€ trustee Rick Montalto said.
Trustee Tom Renk agreed, and said it was a step in the right direction.
According to Sugar Grove Development Director Rich Young, the total number of buildable lots in Sugar Grove is in the 400 range. The village issued one building permit this year. Although trustee Kevin Geary said he would like to ensure that the reduction in fees is reflected in a decrease in the home price, Village Administrator Brent Eichelberger said there was no way to guarantee that.
Impact fees vary by development and by the size of the home being built, with fees ranging from $3,500 to $16,000.
The transition fees, which are collected on behalf of the village, School District, Park District, Library District and township, were initiated in Sugar Grove due to the volume of growth taking place several years ago. The idea was to fill in the gap between when a new household began utilizing services and when taxes from that home reached the taxing bodies providing the services.
The amount of the transition fees also varies by development, size and price of home, from $200 to $5,800.
Eichelberger said that the cost of a failed or failing development has become more evident within the village during the past several years.
â€œBuilders and developers are struggling to survive, costing the village into the thousands (of dollars) of staff time, providing services the developer should have, and attorneys’ and engineers’ fees that will likely not get reimbursed,â€ he said. â€œIf this helps developers and builders survive, it ends up being a huge benefit to the community.â€
The board will take a formal vote on the proposal at its next board meeting.