Burbank City Council Discusses Changing Development Impact Fees


On Tuesday June 7th, Burbank City Council held a regularly scheduled meeting.

With the month of June just beginning, Mayor Jess Talamantes and the city council formally recognized the month as Pride Month within the city of Burbank.

Development impact fees were the primary topic of the night. Development impact fees, or DIFs, are fees that are put on developers based on the projected impact of their development on city infrastructure. Funds raised by DIFs can only go towards improvements identified in a citywide nexus study.

According to Community Development Department analyst Beverly Ibarra, who presented on the topic, a nexus study is necessary in order to show a reasonable connection between, “the impacts caused by new developments and the capital improvements needed to address the impacts.” The last nexus study conducted by Burbank was done in the 1990s, meaning the current DIFs that are in Burbank’s municipal code are outdated.

Although a new nexus study has yet to be conducted, city staff made several suggestions as to what a new fee schedule would look like and what the fee money would go to.

City staff stated that the allowable maximum DIFs with a new fee schedule will be much higher than those that are currently in the municipal code. This is primarily due to the fact that the current DIFs were put into place in the 1990s.

Despite this, city staff recommends that the city charge at 80% of the allowable fee in order to not dramatically raise costs for fee payers. Additionally, exceptions for uses that benefit the public are recommended, including charging at 50% of the allowable fee for affordable housing, 33% for retail and 67% for hotels/lodging.

The money raised from DIFs will go towards capital improvements for Burbank parks, libraries, police, fire and all other city infrastructure that supports current or future development.

In their discussion on amending DIFs, the city council emphasized aligning fee levels with city goals, including the expansion of affordable housing.

Burbank city council ultimately decided to move forward with discussions on altering DIFs, unanimously voting 5-0 to introduce an ordinance amending the municipal code. Councilmember Nick Schultz added an amendment to the motion that creates a tiered system for DIFs on housing, giving affordable housing the lowest tier.

With the passage of this motion, the council will reconvene on June 21st to do a second reading of the ordinance.

A video recording of the meeting and a copy of the meeting’s agenda can be found here.