Office of Marketing and Communications
Development impact fees go into effect July 1
SAVANNAH (June 27) -- Effective July 1, 2023, the City of Savannah will begin charging development impact fees to help defray the costs of expanding capital facilities to serve new growth and development.
“Our approach to developing impact fees in Savannah was driven by data, best practices demonstrated across Georgia, and engagement with local stakeholders, and our community as a whole, every step of the way,” said City Manager Joseph A. “Jay” Melder. “We now have another tool to assure the necessary expansion of City services into growing areas is funded equitably and sustainably.”
Impact fees are determined by the City’s Development Impact Fee Ordinance, which City Council approved in February 2023. The ordinance includes a three-year phased implementation of the impact fee program:
- Year 1: 50% of maximum impact fee ($1,965 for a single-family home)
- Year 2: 75% of maximum impact fee ($2,948 for a single-family home)
- Year 3: 100% of maximum impact fee ($3,931 for a single-family home)
Additionally, a resolution was adopted providing a 25% exemption for affordable housing.
Questions about the City’s impact fees can be submitted to the City’s Planning and Urban Design Department via email or by calling (912) 651-3108. Information is also available online at www.savannahga.gov/impactfees.
# # #
In January 2022, Savannah 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.
As part of the process to create an impact fee program, the City completed a Methodology Report last year. The document contains the growth forecasts for the city and identifies capital projects needed to meet the City’s Level of Service standards. It also presents calculations related to establishing the maximum impact fees that could be charged for the public facility categories which include roads, public safety, and parks and recreation. The forecasts and identified capital improvement projects from this report comprise the Capital Improvements Element (CIE) which must be approved by the Coastal Regional Commission (CRC) and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA). On January 19, 2023, DCA notified the City that the revised CIE adequately addressed the State’s requirements.
On February 23, 2023, the City Council adopted the CIE which amended the 2040 Plan, Development Impact Fee Ordinance, and affordable housing exemptions.
Affordable Housing Exemptions
City Council adopted an exemption for the development of affordable housing. If funding is available, affordable housing is eligible for a 25% reduction in the payment of impact fees based on the following standards:
- Housing developed using Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) and similarly financed housing that has long term affordability requirements imposed by the federal, state, or local governments;
- Housing developed using local, state or federal funds that have a deed restricted affordability period of at least 15 years;
- The development of single family or two-family dwellings in federally designated Opportunity Zones;
- Any of the three exemptions listed above, except for those properties that shall be owner occupied for a period of five years, must comply with these additional requirements:
- Rents as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that are at or below Fair Market Rents (FMRs) for a period of 15 years with deed restrictions as approved by the City Manager; or
- Sale price of homes that are at or below 80% of Federal Housing Administration (FHA) limits for a period of 15 years with deed restrictions as approved by the City Manager.