Update 2/7/2014: The Governing Board of the Mountain View Whisman School District, at its regularly scheduled meeting on February 6, 2014, at 7:00 p.m., approved to implement an increase in development fees. These fees are established by the District and are assessed against residential construction and reconstruction at $2.24 per square foot and against new commercial or industrial construction at $0.36 per square foot. The proposed fees are authorized by Education Code Section 17620 and Government Code Section 65995. The fees will become effective on April 7, 2014, which is 60 days after the proposed adoption of the resolution levying such fees by the Governing Board.
In September 1986, the Governor signed into law Assembly Bill 2926 (Chapter 887/Statutes 1986) which granted school district governing boards the authority to impose developer fees. This authority is codified in Education Code Section 17620 (formerly Government Code Section 53080), which states in part “…the governing board of any school district is authorized to levy a fee, charge, dedication or other form of requirement against any development project for the construction or reconstruction of school facilities.”
The initial maximum fee that can be levied is adjusted every two years by the statewide index for Class B construction set by the State Allocation Board (“SAB”). There was no adjustment to the fee in January 2010 due to the housing construction downturn. In January 2012, the SAB increased the school fee to $3.20 (“Level I Fee”) per square foot of assessable space for residential construction and $0.51 per square foot of covered and enclosed space for commercial and industrial construction.
On January 22, 2014, the SAB increased the school fee to $3.36 (“Level I Fee”) per square foot of assessable space for residential construction and $0.54 per square foot of covered and enclosed space for commercial and industrial construction.
The Mountain View Whisman School District was proactive in having a justification study completed in January 2014, in anticipation of the new fee. In order to determine if the District is eligible to collect the fee, an enrollment projection must be completed, in addition to an analysis of the District’s current capacity to house students.
This justification study reflects that the District is currently over its capacity (4,957 students) and enrollments are projected to remain over capacity through the projection period.
The study demonstrates that the Mountain View Whisman School District is justified to collect the Level I fees: residential construction at $3.36 per square foot and commercial/industrial at $0.54 per square foot.