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Nye County delays impact fee increases

Hikes to Nye County’s impact fees were set to go into effect this month but officials have authorized a temporary stay on the increases, which now have an effective date of Aug. 13.

Under Nye County Ordinance 606, the impact fees for police, fire and parks are to be raised for all new residential and commercial development. In addition, the ordinance created an all-new impact fee, for drainage and flood control, which, as written, could add thousands of dollars of additional expense for developers in Pahrump. However, the drainage fee portion of the ordinance may need to be adjusted going forward, due to a recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The resolution to issue the temporary stay went before the Nye County Commission during its May 21 meeting.

“Several members of the building and construction community have expressed a desire to delay the increases in the impact fees as adopted with Ordinance 606, because there are existing contracts which have already been signed with customers using the previous impact fee schedule,” information regarding the resolution detailed.

Nye County Planning Director Brett Waggoner emphasized, “It could really cause some havoc if they have to go back and reconfigure loans and everything… With that, we’re bringing forward this resolution that would push the effective date of the fees out 90 days.”

While the consequences for local developers was the only reason outlined in the resolution authorizing the stay, Nye County District Attorney Brian Kunzi added that there was a secondary purpose — the need for further legal review.

“This has been a brewing issue, regarding impact fees,” Kunzi remarked. “We’ve actually gotten some clarity from the United States Supreme Court, very recently, that’s ruling that if the impact fees aren’t correctly related to the actual costs to the county, it becomes a taking — which opens the county to liability.

“So I think it’s a good move to hold these until we can evaluate that. Because you can’t just put fees on drainage unless you can actually prove that development is causing a drainage issue, and what that cost would be,” Kunzi continued. “It’s really going to force us to be more particular on how we’re applying these impact fees. They’re going to have to be very particularized to evaluate what costs that each development is imposing on the county.”

Nye County Commissioner Frank Carbone made the motion to adopt the resolution imposing a 90-day stay on the increases, which passed with all in favor.

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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