City Council approves increased impact fees
Leander City Council narrowly voted April 19 to charge new development projects an extra $200 in impact fees.
The 4–3 vote increased the city's water and wastewater impact fees to a combined $5,495, which is paid during the permitting process. Impact fees are assigned to help municipalities pay for infrastructure necessary in undeveloped portions of the city.
Leander Mayor Pro Tem David Siebold said he proposed the increased rate as a way to help relieve existing Leander residents while still keeping the city competitive with surrounding communities.
Staff projections estimate Leander's population will increase approximately 8.5 percent each year for the next 10 years.
Councilwoman Michell Cantwell, Mayor John Cowman and Councilman Chris Fielder cast the three dissenting votes for the impact fees increase. Both the city staff and Leander Planning and Zoning Commission proposed keeping fees at $5,295, where they have remained since 2007.
"Big picture—obviously impact fees are an attempt to make development pay for itself," Leander City Manager Kent Cagle said. "That's their purpose, and I think we're all for that but in Leander, we also need significant growth to pay for existing debt."