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Background (from the draft report):
In 2016, the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled that municipalities did not have the authority under general law to assess “Water and Sewer Impact Fees” for developments seeking to connect to the municipality’s infrastructure. These fees, as defined by some municipalities and counties, are often assessed for future infrastructure improvements such as water treatment and wastewater treatment capacity that may be required to serve new developments.
This ruling was followed by the North Carolina General Assembly passing House Bill 436 in July 2017, amending Chapter 162A of the General Statutes by adding “Article 8, System Development Fees.” This amendment was enacted as “An Act to Provide for Uniform Authority to Implement System Development Fees for Public Water and Sewer Systems in North Carolina and to Clarify the Applicable Statute of Limitations.”1 A copy of HB436 is included with this analysis as Appendix A.
As a requirement of the amended General Statute, the City of New Bern employed Rivers & Associates, Inc., a professional engineering consulting firm, to complete a system development fee analysis. The Statute specifies that a written analysis be performed to calculate a system development fee, based upon prescriptive criteria. This analysis must then be posted and made available to the public for a period of not less than 45 days, soliciting comments on the analysis, and modifying or revising the analysis based on those comments. Following this period, the local government unit must hold a public hearing on the system development fee, prior to consideration for adoption by the unit. An additional stipulation requires that the analysis be updated at least every five years. This report provides the five-year update of the analysis.