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Introduced Version House Bill 3185 History

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H. B. 3185

 

(By Delegates Lawrence and Manchin)

[Introduced February 18, 2011; referred to the

Committee on Political Subdivisions then the Judiciary.]

 

 

 

 

A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §7-20-7a; and to amend said code by adding thereto a new section, designated §24-2-1k, all relating to preservation of affordable housing in counties with county impact fees.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §7-20-7a; and that said code be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §24-2-1k, all to read as follows:

CHAPTER 7. COUNTY COMMISSIONS AND OFFICERS.

ARTICLE 20. FEES AND EXPENDITURES FOR COUNTY DEVELOPMENT.

§7-20-7a. Reduced fees for affordable housing units.

    (a) Legislative finding. –- The Legislature finds that there is a lack of affordable housing in counties that imposed impact fees and capital improvement fees because the cost of those fees along with economic conditions in those counties has resulted in low and moderate income persons, including, but not limited to, those on fixed incomes such as elderly persons and persons with special needs, being unable to obtain safe, decent and affordable housing in those counties. A lack of affordable housing affects the ability of communities to develop and maintain strong and stable economies and impairs the health, stability and self-esteem of individuals and families. The Legislature further finds that financing affordable housing particularly in high growth counties is becoming increasingly difficult. For these reasons, it is in the public interest to encourage counties that have imposed impact fees and capital improvement fees and those considering the imposition of such fees to avoid having those fees unfairly burdening affordable housing.

    (b) Definitions. As used in this article:

    (1) "Affordable housing" means a single-family detached housing unit located in a county approved subdivision that has above-ground living space that does not exceed one thousand eight hundred square feet and a cost that does not exceed forty percent of the average cost of a single-family residential house in the county in which it is located, as determined by the annual study of average cost of new single-family homes required by section two-b, article one, chapter eleven of this code.

    (2) "County approved subdivision" means a subdivision approved by the County Planning Commission that has subdivision improvements

such as, for example, lighting, sidewalks and paved streets that cost in excess of $200,000.

    (3) "Impact fee" or "capital improvement fee" means any fee imposed pursuant to section seven of this article or collected pursuant to section four of this article.

    (c) Impact and capital improvement fees on affordable housing units. -- Notwithstanding any provision of this article to the contrary, a county commission or other body collecting an impact or capital improvement fee on or after the effective date of this section may not collect a fee for an affordable housing unit, as defined in this section, that exceeds fifteen percent of the amount that would otherwise be imposed on the developer, owner or renter of the affordable housing unit in the absence of this subsection.

CHAPTER 24. PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION.

ARTICLE 2. POWERS AND DUTIES OF PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION.

§24-2-1k. Capacity improvement fees; affordable housing.

    (a) Legislative finding. -- The Legislature finds that there is a lack of affordable housing in counties that imposed impact fees and capital improvement fees because the cost of those fees along with capacity improvement fees and economic conditions in those counties has resulted in low and moderate income persons, including, but not limited to, those on fixed incomes such as elderly persons and persons with special needs, being unable to obtain safe, decent and affordable housing in those counties. A lack of affordable housing affects the ability of communities to develop and maintain strong and stable economies and impairs the health, stability and self-esteem of individuals and families. The Legislature further finds that financing affordable housing particularly in high-growth counties is becoming increasingly difficult. For these reasons, it is in the public interest that capacity improvement fees not unfairly burdening affordable housing.

    (b) Definitions. As used in this section:

    (1) "Affordable housing" means a single-family detached housing unit located in a county approved subdivision that has above-ground living space that does not exceed one thousand eight hundred square feet and a cost that does not exceed forty percent of the average cost of a single-family residential house in the county in which it is located, as determined by the annual study of average cost of new single-family homes required by section two-b, article one, chapter eleven of this code.

    (2) "Capacity improvement fee" means any fee imposed by a county, municipality, public utility or public service district on customers to finance construction of, and operate, improvements to the capacity of the electric, water, sewage or other public service systems operated by the county, municipality, public utility or public service district.

    (3) "County approved subdivision" means a subdivision approved by the County Planning Commission that has subdivision improvements

such as, for example, lighting, sidewalks and paved streets that cost in excess of $200,000.

    (c) Capacity improvement fee on affordable housing units. --Notwithstanding any provision of this article to the contrary, the Public Service Commission may not approve collection of a capacity improvement fee and no utility may collect a capacity improvement fee for an affordable housing unit, as defined in this section, located in a county that imposes a county impact fee pursuant to article twenty, chapter seven of this code, when the capacity improvement fee exceeds fifteen percent of the amount that would otherwise be imposed on the developer, owner or renter of the affordable housing unit in the absence of this subsection.




    NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to allow county commissions to waive or reduce impact fees and capital improvement fees of affordable housing units in their county and to limit the capacity improvement fees that may be collected from developers, owners or renters of affordable housing in counties with impact fees.


    §7-20-7a and §24-2-1k are new; therefore, both sections have been completely underscored.

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