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OJAI VALLEY : Study May Urge Fee Hike for Developers

Building a home or new commercial building in the Ojai Valley may cost more in school developer fees in 1992, depending on results of a developer fee justification study authorized by Ojai Unified School District trustees.

The $5,675 contract, plus $1,000 for expenses, was awarded to Jack Schreder and Associates of Sacramento and will be paid with developer fees already collected.

State law permits schools to charge fees for new construction and additions to existing buildings to pay for classrooms for new students. The money may also be used to modernize facilities over 30 years old.

The district now charges $1.56 a square foot for residential construction and 26 cents a square foot for commercial structures.

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Fees can be increased every two years and may go up 5 cents a square foot in 1992 because of inflation.

The Ojai school district has collected about $1 million in fees over the past five years and projects another $1.5 million in the next five years. Leo Molitor, district business manager, said the money is paying for 17 relocatable classrooms and paid for air-conditioner and heater units in older buildings.

Molitor said it is difficult to project student enrollment because of fluctuations in the economy, building permit restrictions and water shortages.

A temporary ban on construction in the unincorporated area of the Ojai Valley will be lifted in January, when 68 building permits will be available for 1992 under the Clean Air Ordinance.

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