Placer supervisors vote to accelerate Foresthill road fees

By: Gus Thomson Journal Staff Writer
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Future Foresthill home developers will be paying 21 percent to help bankroll a list of new transportation improvements that includes widening the Interstate 80 overcrossing in Auburn from two to four lanes. Placer County supervisors OK’d an ordinance Tuesday that boosts the current traffic mitigation fee in the Foresthill area from $3,655 a house to $4,425 for each dwelling unit. The county Public Works Department recently revised its capitol-improvement plan for transportation improvements to reflect recent community plan revisions. The new plan identifies $25.5 million in improvements, with $7.11 million coming from Foresthill traffic mitigation fees. The previous plan, created nearly 20 years ago, identified $14.7 million in improvements, with $3.1 million in fees. Most of the improvements planned are on Foresthill Road, including widening the road and making safety upgrades. Supervisor Tom Miller said that with an estimated annual growth rate on the Foresthill Divide of 2 percent, the improvements are considered a long-term objective. In the short-term, Foresthill growth has apparently slowed to a near-stop. Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery, whose district includes the divide, initially suggested the increase might be considered over two years. But she relented and decided to vote in favor of the 21 percent jump over one year after learning the proposed ordinance would have to be substantially changed and very little building permit activity was taking place. “There’s been so little residential construction,” she said, noting that just one permit had been issued in the last year. The county has 11 separate districts with different traffic mitigation fees. The average fee on a home is $4,944. The overcrossing-widening price tag is an estimated $20 million, with $2.3 million coming from county traffic impact fees. The rest would be picked up by other county funds, and state and federal government contributions. The Journal’s Gus Thomson can be reached at