Letters to the Editor

Viewpoint: Clarifications on housing

Mr. Bryce Engstrom, an architect, wrote a Viewpoint in the Dec. 7 Tribune, “Affordable housing suggestions,” critical of city requirements as they relate to housing and secondary dwelling units in particular.

I would like to provide a couple of clarifications:

In Mr. Engstom’s first point he is critical of the city’s requirement to have the developer pay for frontage improvements as a part of a development project. He implies the city ought to use general tax sources for these improvements. I am not aware of any city in the county that treats this requirement differently than Grover Beach. In cases when development occurs where no frontage improvements exist, installation of frontage improvements are generally required. There are some cities that are more built out than Grover Beach and so the requirements are in those cases less.

In his second point, Mr. Engstrom indicates the cost for a water connection for a second dwelling unit is $20,000. This is incorrect. Second dwelling units are treated the same as single-family units and the total fees for development of a secondary unit and single-family unit are the same. The total costs for all impact fees, connection fees and building permit fees are approximately $20,000, depending on the size of the project being constructed. The water impact fee for a unit with a 1-inch meter is $2,682.77 and the cost to actually connect the meter is about $500. Thus, the total cost for water is about $3,182.77.

The council-adopted Housing Element contains a policy regarding completing a review of fees associated with construction of secondary dwelling units with recommendations to be made to the council. We are in the process of completing this review on the staff level.

Bob Perrault is city manager of Grover Beach.