The Camarillo City Council will today consider raising the fee charged commercial developers to pay for a new police facility, while reducing the fee charged residential developers.
Fees charged to residential developers would drop by 23%, to $430 a dwelling unit, while the fee for commercial or industrial construction would be increased by nearly 75%, to $2,241 per acre.
The city first adopted the fee in 1989 as a way to make new construction help pay for a new police station, said Larry Davis, an assistant city manager. Altogether, developer fees were expected to provide 40% of the $5.1-million construction cost, and all of the project’s financing costs.
Since then, the city has decided to purchase the former Bill Esty Community Center for $1.9 million and convert it into a police station at a cost of $2.4 million.
Citing a recent rise in police calls from commercial and industrial sites, city officials say the rates should be changed so commercial and industrial developments pay their fair share.
“It’s a shifting of the burden from one part of the development community to another,” Davis said.
Since the fee was imposed, calls from the city’s residences have dropped from 71% of the police workload to just 56%, while calls from businesses have risen commensurately, he said.
Ventura County Sheriff’s Sgt. Keith Lazz attributed the rise in police calls from business and industry to the increase in the city’s commercial and industrial areas.
“The industrial areas go from a zero population at night to a population of thousands during the day,” Lazz said. “Anytime you have a large population, you’ll have the crime.”