City of Franklin to refund impact fees for Chickasaw Senior Community project

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The city of Franklin will refund almost $500,000 in impact fees paid so far by the Franklin Housing Authority as it constructs affordable senior housing.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted unanimously May 14 to appropriate $479,766 to the FHA, paying back parkland and road impact fees related to the Chickasaw Senior Community, a project that will provide 48 units of affordable housing for senior citizens. Tom Marsh, Franklin’s building and neighborhood services director, said in a statement that the project is “a public purpose with a public benefit that the Board wishes to support.”

“Development impact fees have been identified as a barrier to construction of affordable dwellings and this action addresses that issue on behalf of the Franklin Housing Authority,” Marsh said.

The parkland impact fee and road impact fee are typically paid by developers when they build residential projects. They are meant to ensure that the city can appropriately fund the additional roads and parks that are needed when new developments are completed, according to the Franklin Municipal Code.

City staff recommended that the board determine a policy on repaying impact fees for affordable housing development in the future.

“If you approve an appropriation like this without a policy backing it up, it’s going to open the door for all kinds of one-off requests going forward,” City Attorney Shauna Billingsley said at the meeting. City Manager Eric Stuckey told the board that the decision is not binding for other asks in the future.

“This is not intended to lock you in to an entitlement for any other projects,” Stuckey said.

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