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Rural Transportation Impact Fee
Update- November 22, 2016
On November 22, 2016 the Arapahoe County Board of County Commissioners voted to approve the Rural Transportation Impact Fee. The fee is a one-time payment on new development only to help offset the impacts on roadway infrastructure that occur with development. The fee is for new development in unincorporated Arapahoe County, east of Gun Club Road. It will be collected at time of building permit issuance of residential, commercial, industrial and office buildings. 

The fee will go into effect April 1, 2017. Any building permits pulled March 31, 2017 or before will not be required to pay the fee. Fee will vary depending on building purpose and size (see chart below). 

Board Summary Report
Final Rural Transportation Impact Fee Presentation


Arapahoe County has experienced a large number of 35 acre or greater parcel creations in the eastern portion of the County in previous years. These types of parcels have been created without the requirement for any land-use approval from the County and therefore the County does not have a way to have these new developments pay for the impacts they create, as well as services they expect once residential development is constructed. Furthermore, there are perceptions that there are disproportionate responsibilities for transportation improvements allocated to single family homes that are required to to be processed through the County's land use process versus the 35 acre (and above) parcels.

Financing of rural roadway improvements currently come from developer contributions associated with impacts created by their developments, which are reviewed through the County's land-use process. Currently the County's requirements are two lanes pavement, accel/decel lanes as required, curb/gutter/sidewalk where required etc. along the frontage of the property being processed. In rural areas, the cost of the improvements us typically in excess of the property being developed and therefore becomes burdensome and creates unintended consequences of the proliferation of 35 or greater parcels being created. The other form of funding rural roadways is by the use of County Road and Bridge Funds or CIP funds. Both of the County funds are property tax funds and the amount of taxes collected are not adequate to provide funding for rural roadway improvements or maintenance as it relates to the amount of tax collected from an individual property versus the need or impact. The County's intent would be to apply the recommended rural transportation impact fee mechanism to both County regulated and non-regulated land uses in an equitable manner

The primary goal of the project is to evaluate a realistic range of financing options for rural roadway improvements as identified In the County's 2035 Transportation Plan. This effort will build upon the previous work performed and presented in the Impact Fee and Maintenance Funding Options Report prepared with the 2035 Transportation Plan.

Key Findings

The general conclusions for the 2035 Arapahoe County Transportation Plan and the analysis performed for this fee are:
  • There will be new growth in eastern Arapahoe County east of Gun Club Road between now and 2040.
  • The new growth and development will generate a significant demand for construction of capital improvements to the County Roadway Network if the desired level of service is to be maintained. 
  • The 2035 Arapahoe County Transportation Plan indicates a need for approximately $700 to $900 million in capital roadway improvements out to 2035. Of this total, roughly $450 million is anticipated to be County responsibility with the remaining portion of the total coming from private sources (developers), local governments, State and/or Federal sources. The portion in the study area for the fee is approximately $300 million. 
  • The County's current fiscal structure cannot adequately fund the road capital improvements needed to accommodate the expected growth and development without either increasing the Capital Expenditure Fund or establishing a new funding source for roadway improvements. 

A legally defensible and rational nexus between land use and impacts created by such has been established with the work performed to date. The following summarizes the findings of the previous work.

Transportation Impact Fees

Local governments in Colorado have powers granted to them via state enabling legislation (Sections 29-20-102 through 204 Colorado Revised Statutes).  While the County has the ability to institute a Transportation Impact Fee, they have limitations and therefore should not be regarded as the total solution for infrastructure financing needs.  Impact Fees should be considered as a component of a comprehensive portfolio to ensure adequate funding for public facilities.  By law, Impact Fee Legislation has several requirements, which are:
  • Impact fees must be legislatively adopted and apply to a broad class of properties;
  • Impact fees must be directly related to the impacts of the proposed development;
  • Impact fees may only be used to fund capital facilities, meaning facilities with a useful life of five years or longer, that are required by local ordinance or policy. They cannot be used to repair infrastructure or correct an existing deficiency;
  • Impact fees may only be used to fund existing and future capital improvements and may not be used to remedy any deficiency in capital facilities that exists without regard to the proposed development;
  • Developers may not be charged impact fees to fund facilities to which they have already contributed fees through another mechanism and no individual landowner can be required to provide any site specific dedication of improvement to meet the same need for capital facilities for which the impact or similar development charge is imposed (unless a credit is given for any duplicate costs);
  • The accounting for impact fees must be the same as for all other development charges (i.e. they must comply with the requirements of C.R.S. 29-1-801 through 804);
  • Impact fees may be waived for affordable housing or employee housing developments

Fee Area

For this Transportation Impact Fee, the Service Area will be eastern Arapahoe County between Watkins Road and the eastern Arapahoe County Boundary. The roadways that would be eligible for the fee are represented below. 
Rural impact fee.jpg
The roadways considered for the Rural Transportation Impact Fee (RUTIF) are as follows. This represents the Gravel to Pavement and backbone roadways that support growth in the eastern portion of Arapahoe County. Pursuant to the recommendations in the Arapahoe County 2035 Transportation Plan not all roadways in eastern Arapahoe County are slated for paving and will remain rural gravel roadways. 

RUTIF Chart.jpg
It should be noted that the interchange with I-70 have not been included in this fee and as such as interchange improvements are identified and pursuant to CDOT 1601 process, a funding plan will be required for each location which could include various funding strategies include additional impact fees. 

Proposed Fee

Pursuant to the September 26, 2016 BOCC Study Session, Staff has adjusted the calculated impact fee and reduced it by 30 percent across the board on all land uses. This adjustment made the fee for a typical 2300 SF home $2,531, which was the desire of the BOCC. This adjustment to all land uses show equity to all land uses and does not benefit one land use over another. The following tables show the Report Calculated fee and the reduced fee:


Resident           Residential         Commercial          Office               Industrial     

Size                   (per SF Living)  (per 1000 SF)       (per 1000 SF)   (per 1000 SF)

                                                         $5,437                   $3,175               $1,099       

  1000 or Less     $2,147

  1101 to 1700     $3,015

  1701 to 2300     $3,616

  2301 to 2900     $4,081

  2901 or More     $4,454


Resident           Residential         Commercial          Office               Industrial     

Size                   (per SF Living)  (per 1000 SF)       (per 1000 SF)   (per 1000 SF)

                                                         $3,806                   $2,223               $769          

  1000 or Less     $1,503

  1101 to 1700     $2,111

  1701 to 2300     $2,531

  2301 to 2900     $2,857

  2901 or More     $3,118

The Original Impact Fee Revenue would have covered 64 percent of the planned transportation improvements, with other revenues totaling over $61 million required for the non-growth share over 24 years (i.e. roughly $2.5 million annually from other revenue sources). With the Revised Fee and reduction of 30 percent, and if the fee is kept at this amount over the 24 years of analysis would generate nearly $77 million (45 percent of $171 million need) and the other revenue (County share) would be 55 percent or over $94 million (i.e. roughly $3.9 million per year from other sources). 

Final Rural Transportation Impact Fee Study (October 28, 2016)

Consultant: TischlerBise

Public Meeting 
A public meeting was held October 19, 2016. Materials include:

  • Public Meeting 10/19/16
  • BOCC Study Session 11/1/16 (Feedback from Public Meeting and further direction on adoption and how to proceed).
  • Finalize Draft Resolution/Enabling Authorization 11/1-16- 11/22/16
  • BOCC Hearing on Consideration of Adoption 11/22/16
  • Fee effective 4/1/2017