Homebuilders Association of Tulare-Kings Counties ("HBA") challenged City of Lemoore's adoption in late 2006 and early 2007 of Fire Protection, Police, Park Land Acquisition, Community Recreation, Municipal Facilities, and Refuse Vehicle and Container Impact Fees. HBA claimed the fees violated the Mitigation Fee Act (MFA) in identifying the use of the fee by facility type as opposed to specific projects. HBA also challenged the manner in which City annually accounted for the use of the fees. HBA also asserted that the Quimby Act preempted the Community Recreation and Park Land Acquisition Impact Fees.
In rejecting these contentions, the Court of Appeal held a plaintiff challenging an impact fee must show the record before the local agency "clearly" did not support the determinations made. The Court also clarified the relationship between the MFA and the Quimby Act concerning city-wide recreation facilities. The Court also upheld the manner in which the City annually accounted for the use of the fees. Out of the multiple fees that were challenged, only one fee, which was one of Lemoore's Fire Protection Fees, was invalidated. As to this fee, the Court stated the MFA did not authorize an impact fee for new development to reimburse the general fund for a portion of the cost of what Lemoore's fee study indicated were already adequate existing facilities..
To see the Court of Appeal Opinion, click here.
By Daniel O. Jamison