GARDEN GROVE : School District Hikes Development Fees

The Garden Grove Unified School District Board of Education has increased residential and commercial development fees for projects within district boundaries.

The board unanimously approved the two-tiered fee increase at its regular meeting Tuesday.

Under the new plan, a $1.65 fee per square foot will be applied to residential remodeling that increases habitable area by 500 to 1,500 square feet. That fee went into effect immediately, district spokesman Alan Trudell said.

Additionally, a $2.65-per-square-foot fee will be applied to remodeling projects that increase habitable space by more than 1,500 square feet. The $2.65 fee will also apply to all new development. The current fee for all residential construction over 500 square feet is $1.50 per square foot.

The board also voted to raise the fee for commercial projects from 25 cents to 27 cents per square foot.

The residential $2.65-per-square-foot fee and the commercial 27-cents-per-square-foot fee will become effective within 60 days, Trudell said. Those fees had not been increased since their inception in 1987.

The new fees represent the maximum the district is legally allowed to collect.

District business manager Art Becker told the board that by raising those fees to the legal limit, Garden Grove Unified could not be penalized by the state when applying for capital improvement matching funds.

He said the state requires that districts collect all the money to which they are entitled through such fees. Districts that fail to do so are penalized when they seek matching funds for capital improvements.

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