Transportation SDCs to Remain Level?

The Daily Journal of Commerce is reporting that a panel evaluating the reauthorization of the Transportation System Development Charge program for the City of Portland is unlikely to raise the rates for the charges by more than the level of inflation.

“Cities around the country are paying for big projects, but they’re doing it by voting on it,” Bruce Allen, a committee member representing the Portland Development Commission, said.

Portland residents, he said, “don’t want to support that.”

Increased developer fees could also hurt the city’s ability to attract and retain businesses, according to the 19-member committee, which includes representatives of public agencies, businesses and residents.

4 responses to “Transportation SDCs to Remain Level?”

  1. This is the key piece of the article:

    The committee’s stance against a large increase in system development charges wasn’t unanimous. Kay Durtschi, a representative of Southwest Portland neighborhoods and one of just three committee members not representing business, said she would like the city to double the rates.

    Those who write the agenda (or select the committee) make the rules; this conclusion was probably forgone the moment the committee was set.

  2. SDC Fees cannot be used to gouge businesses and let new home/housing developers get off Scott-Free.

    As a rule of thumb businesses and business property tax, pay their fare share. It is the home builders that impact our roads as they build subdivision away from job centers. They should have their SDC Fees tripled.

    What we need is local “Concurrency Regulations” where all development is forced to pay actuarial costs, calculated on all impacts of new development. This would include all public utilities, schools, parks, and any needed public infrastructure that can be proven to need to have its capacity expanded.

    Failure to do this places undue burdens on existing home owners to where they end up subsidizing new development. If you are a senior citizen on a fixed income or a low income person/family this can result in taking food from their mouths.

    We must realize that SDC Fees have been used improperly to fund some public infrastructure because we have become to dependent on TIF/UR Districts Methods which take away from revenue dollars that would have been available in the past. Multnomah County Chair said that it costs the County now $10M per year.

  3. Good for Kay. This is an advisory group, ultimately its up to the voters not to let the council hide behind its recommendations. One minute we hear how transportation investments are vital to the future of the region’s businesses, the next minute we hear that paying for them will destroy the business climate.

  4. In the City of Portland (in other words, NOT Gresham, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Tualatin, Wilsonville, etc., there are many examples of job centers that are dispersed from long established residential centers – i.e. Portland International Airport and Airport Way East, Rivergate, Yeon Avenue.

    Portland’s continued insistence of pushing out long established light industrial centers, such as what is now the Pearl District, South Waterfront, Linnton, and the Eastside Industrial District, will only continue to push job centers and residential areas further and further apart; the increased demand towards transportation budgets cannot be easily summed up in charging suburban developers for it.

    Besides, the City of Portland has zero legal authority to do so should someone build a development on the Washington County side of the county line in Cedar Mill or Bethany.

    Rather, the redevelopment of industrial areas needs to stop, and further emphasis be placed on integrating true multiple uses within an area, so that light industrial, commercial and residential can exist nearby, rather than one zoning overtaking another – resulting in the demand of new roads and transit options.

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