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Here’s an update on some of those items I mentioned the other day:

When developers build new hotels, warehouses, commercial and office buildings, the city charges fees to help create housing for the people who will work there.

Those fees levied on commercial development to help create more affordable housing won’t be raised this year, but the city’s Land Use and Housing Committee directed the Housing Commission yesterday to study the fee with the plan to consider raising it sometime next year, the U-T reported today.

The fee hasn’t been raised in more than a decade, after it was cut in half in 1996. In just the past few years, the city has missed out on nearly $3 million that could’ve been raised for affordable housing if the fees had been closer to what’s charged elsewhere, according to an audit of the Housing Commission released earlier this summer.

The committee also talked about raising the fees a developer pays when taking out permits for a new project. The city says it needs to raise fees to cover costs. The committee passed that proposal along to the City Council for a decision.

Builders at the meeting yesterday protested any of the increases. From the Building Industry Association’s blog mention of yesterday’s meeting:

A broad business coalition, including the BIA, NAIOP, the San Diego Chamber of Commerce and others challenged the wisdom of higher fees on the business sector at a time when unemployment is at historic highs.

Affordable housing advocates pointed out that the builders never want fees to be raised, even when times are good.

KELLY BENNETT

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