In 1990, the Georgia Development Impact Fee Act (DIFA) was enacted into law, and it significantly affected the way local governments in Georgia pay for public services and facilities. Impact fees are one-time fees charged to land developers to help defray the costs of expanding capital facilities to serve new growth. DIFA enables local governments to charge new development for a proportionate share of infrastructure capacity it requires. However, the Act places restrictions on the categories of capital facilities for which new development can be charged. It also establishes rules under which impact fees must be calculated, collected, expended, accounted for and administered.
In September 2021, City Council approved a contract with ROSS + Associates to ensure compliance with the DIFA. Their work will include advice and assistance to the City on impact fee matters to include the preparation of an Impact Fee Methodology Report (including all impact fee calculations), Capital Improvements Element (CIE), final impact fee schedule for adoption, and Impact Fee Ordinance conforming to all current state law requirements. As part of this process specific consideration will be given the creation and amount of impact fees for the City in these public facility categories: roads, streets, and bridges, including rights of way, traffic signals, landscaping, and any local components of state or federal highways; parks, open space, and recreation areas and related facilities; and public safety facilities, covering city police and fire facilities.
The CIE will conform to Georgia Department of Community Affairs requirements for inclusion in the City’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan. It is anticipated that the process of establishing an impact fee program will take 10 months.
In January 2022, City Council appointed seven members of the Development Impact Fee Advisory Committee to serve in an advisory capacity to assist and advise City Council with regard to the adoption of a development impact fee ordinance. In that the committee is advisory, no action of the committee shall be considered a necessary prerequisite for municipal or county action in regard to adoption of an ordinance.
The following meetings were held to discuss the establishment of an impact fee:
- November 9, 2021 Council Workshop
- February 23, 2022 DIFA Meeting
- May 11, 2022 DIFA Meeting and Meeting Summary
- June 9, 2022 DIFA Committee Meeting
- June 23, 2022 City Council Workshop
- June 24, 2022 DIFA Committee Meeting
- September 6, 2022 Chatham-County-Savannah Metropolitan Planning Commission Meeting
- September 8, 2022 City Council Workshop
- September 9, 2022 DIFA Committee Meeting
Please refer to these documents for more information about Savannah’s process of exploring impact fees:
For more information, please contact us via email.