What was Savannah’s process in establishing impact fees?

In January 2022, the City Council appointed seven members to serve on the Development Impact Fee Advisory Committee to assist and advise City Council on the adoption of a development impact fee ordinance. Since the committee was advisory, no action of the committee was considered a necessary prerequisite for municipal or county action in regard to adoption of an ordinance.  Members of the committee included Jim Collins, Monica Mastrianni, Tomeca McPherson, Melissa Phillips, Pat Shay, Dwayne Stephens, and Bryan Wardlaw.  

The City completed a Methodology Report which contains growth forecasts 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 includes:

  • Parks and recreation to include a trail system;
  • Fire protection;
  • Law enforcement; and 
  • Road improvements

The information provided in the Methodology Report comprises the Capital Improvements Element (CIE).  Prior to its adoption as part of the Chatham-Savannah Comprehensive Plan (2040 Plan), the document was reviewed by the Coastal Regional Commission (CRC) and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) to ensure consistency with the Development Impact Fee Compliance Requirements and to allow for the submission of comments.  In January 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.  The impact fee program goes into effect on July 1, 2023. 

Show All Answers

1. What is an impact fee?
2. What was Savannah’s process in establishing impact fees?
3. How does the phased implementation process work?
4. What exemptions are available for affordable housing?