SCOTUS Hears Oral Arguments in Case Challenging Arbitrary Local Impact Fees

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The U.S. Supreme Court this week heard oral arguments in a case in which the Bay Area Council submitted an amicus brief to end excessive and often arbitrary local fees on new housing. Such fees have long contributed to California’s housing crisis, driving up the cost of building, making new homes less affordable and creating a disincentive for producing the housing we badly need. A ruling isn’t expected until sometime this summer. The case involves a homeowner in El Dorado County who got hit with an incredible $23,000 traffic impact fee for an 1,800 square foot single-family house he was proposing to build and centers around the constitutionality of imposing fees with little or no nexus to the impact they are seeking to mitigate. The Council does not blanket oppose local fees, but we believe they should be applied fairly and proportionately, and we hope the court’s decision reflects this. Thank you to Council member Coblentz Patch Duffy and Bass for drafting our amicus brief. To engage in the Council’s housing policy work, please contact Vice President Louis Mirante.

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