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Increase in park fee on the horizon?

Website allows residents to view police activity
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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Auburn Area Recreation and Parks District leadership wants to be able to fund future projects and support the ever-growing population of Auburn. The district asked the City Council Monday night to consider a future agenda item that could increase the city park impact mitigation fee. The fee is imposed on those building new homes within the city and currently stands at $1,073 for a single-family detached residence. Current fee for a multi-family dwelling is $694 and $631 for a mobile home. The district is asking for an increase that would boost the minimum fee to $5,500 for single-family detached home, according to Kahl Muscott, district administrator. Muscott said the district gathers these fees from Auburn area Placer County residents as well as those within the city, but the county contributes on a more regular basis because it has more new homes going in. Muscott said there is currently around $75,000 in the city’s park impact mitigation fee account, and ARD needs more funds to support future projects as well as enhance its current facilities to support a growing Auburn population. According to city documents, a 2008 Park Development Impact Fee Nexus Study found ARD could raise its fees to $8,754 for a single-family detached home, $6,158 for a multi-family dwelling and $6,414 for a mobile home. The study found there were several reasons for the increase, including the potential Baltimore Ravine project, which would eventually bring a total of 725 new homes to the city of Auburn if it were approved. Muscott said the district would like to have the fee increase implemented before Baltimore Ravine was completed because residents of the new subdivision would have a strong impact on Recreation Park. It is not clear at this time what exactly the money gathered from the increased fee would pay for, but it could go toward adding to or renovating elements of Recreation Park. “It would really depend on the amount of money we end up collecting on that,” Muscott said. District Board Member Scott Holbrook said an example of a renovation could be changing grass to artificial turf on a park baseball diamond, because it could handle more foot traffic than grass. Holbrook also said the cost of regular maintenance would not be included in mitigation fees, but instead paid for through property taxes, as it is currently. Auburn resident Jerry Wilfley said he thinks the city should not only require fees from new homeowners, but also a donation of land toward Auburn, because without land, parks can’t exist. “Make a portion of the fee they donate (be in the form of) land to the city,” Wilfley said. “Once the land is gone it’s gone.” District Board Member Jim Ferris said ARD’s request makes sense taking into account single-family detached residents in Cameron Park are paying $8,021 for mitigation fees, $7,800 in Folsom and $5,731 plus half of the property value in Colfax. “The $8,700 is reasonable,” Ferris said. City Council members referred the issue to city staff, which will work with the district to come up with exact fee amounts and put them on a future council agenda. No other action was taken on this item. In other business: · Those in attendance viewed the Auburn Host-City Invitation Amgen Tour of California video. · The council approved $100 funding for the Old Town Vintage Trailer Classic taking place Sept. 25 and 26 and $1,000 to cover the video production cost of Auburn’s Host-City Invitation Amgen Tour of California. · The Auburn Police Department announced that it is working with the company CrimeReports to display basic information for police actions within the city of Auburn. Information can be found for specific times, days and city streets at crimereports.com by searching for Auburn, Calif. Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com