Impact fee programs like one in Pitkin County unconstitutional, attorney says

(The Center Square) – An attorney who worked on a recent U.S. Supreme Court case striking down a local government’s use of “substantial” impact fees in California says similar fees in Pitkin County, Colorado, also are unconstitutional.

The court’s ruling in Sheetz v. County of El Dorado centered on a resident who wished to build a prefabricated house on his property, but the county charged a $23,420 traffic impact fee for a building permit. 

The court, using a two-part test “modeled on the unconstitutional conditions doctrine,” said permit conditions must have “essential nexus” to a local government’s land-use interests and must have “rough proportionality” to a development’s impact.

“A permit condition that requires a landowner to give up more than is necessary to mitigate harms resulting from new development has the same potential for abuse as a condition that is unrelated to that purpose,” the majority opinion written by Justice Amy Coney
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