A self-storage owner in Post Falls, Idaho, is among many business owners and developers unhappy about recent increases in county development fees.
When Robert Thomas first approached the Kootenai County board members with plans to build a new 7,200-square-foot addition to Prairie Avenue Mini Storage, the fees were $4,000. The fees then increased twice, more than tripling the first amount to $14,000.
The county is now collecting impact fees for public services including the sheriff’s department, medical emergency units, the highway district and the jail. The fees were approved earlier this year, and collection began June 1. Under the new fee, new developments are charged per square foot by service entities impacted by the project.
Thomas said the permit is now 20 percent of the total cost for the self-storage project. He has asked the county to waive the fee because of the nature of the project, which he believes will not burden county services.
County Commissioner Todd Tondee said the impact fees are intended to ensure the same level of service as new growth increases demand. Tondee said the county has received complaints from other business owners and developers, but the board hopes the new fees will not dissuade new development.