How was the Sxwtpqyen Area boundary determined? Is this equitable to parcels that already have infrastructure?
All new development in a community creates additional demands on some, or all, public facilities provided by local government. Impact fees are used to recover the cost of development-related needs, but only to the extent that the need for facilities is a consequence of development that is subject to the fees.
In the Sxwtpqyen Area (Mullan Road Area), limited road connectivity cannot support additional development without additional capacity. The boundary generally follows the City's Utility Service Area, which represents the areas that could develop with meaningful density and extends to Reserve St, which is a service/job center that will benefit from expanded capacity and population to the west.
How are average trip length and vehicle miles traveled calculated, and how does that equate to the impact fee?
Impact fees are allocated to residential and nonresidential development based on average weekday vehicle miles traveled (VMT). Average VMT is based on vehicle trip length, vehicle trips, and adjustment factors from the reference book, Trip Generation, 10th Edition, published by the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) in 2017. In general, a single family unit is estimated to generate 10.10 trip ends on an average weekday and a multifamily unit is estimated to generate 4.80 trip ends.
Trip length is based on the national average and adjusted to local conditions based on the road network capacity and demand. Furthermore, trip lengths are adjusted based on the purpose of the trip. The national average trip length for a residential unit is 12.32 miles, and 13.09 miles in Missoula after applying local adjustment factors.
Impact fees are derived from the vehicle miles traveled and capital cost per VMT. For example, the impact fee for an 1,800 square foot residential unit is $1,948 ($27.71 per VMT x 8.22 vehicle trip ends x 54% trip adjustment x 13.09 miles per vehicle trip x 121% trip length factor). Further explanation can be found in the Sxwtpqyen Area Transportation Special Impact Fee Study prepared by TischlerBise, which is included under Documents.
Does the transportation impact fee punish density? Would an acreage-based approach be better as opposed to a per unit fee?
The trip-based approach (fee per unit) estimates the proportionate share of the infrastructure improvements made necessary by the new development. An acreage-based approach may
encourage higher densities, but would not apply the costs proportionally - a basic requirement of the enabling legislation in Montana Code.
Two incentives are included in the proposed fees to encourage higher densities, consistent with the Master Plan. These are supportable in our trip-based approach.
1. Smaller units pay less - recognizing that smaller multifamily apartments or condominiums tend to have smaller household sizes and therefore generate less trips.
2. Mixed use developments pay less - recognizing that a mix of uses (i.e., residential and commercial) reduces the number of trips generated.
Is the proposed fee in addition to existing fees?
Yes. The proposed special impact fee is in addition to the citywide impact fees and other existing development fees, which support other system capacity upgrades throughout the city. The proposed special impact fee can only be used to fund project elements included in the Mullan BUILD Project.
What if we get more grants?
The City, in partnership with the County, will continue to explore opportunities for grant funding to complete the BUILD project. The proposed special impact fee ordinance includes a refund provision if additional grants are obtained in the future.