Developer Impact Fee

What are impact fees?

Impact fees are assessed by local governments on new development projects. These fees are intended to recover some of the costs incurred by the government for the expansion of the infrastructure network necessary to serve that new development.  Per state law (Chapter 395 of the Local Government Code), they are limited to the portion associated with new growth and cannot be used to cover existing deficiencies or operations and maintenance costs.

Are impact fees new to the City of Houston?

The addition of an impact fee focused on drainage facilities was adopted by City Council as part of the voter-approved November 2, 2010 Charter amendment.

When will the Developer Drainage Impact Fee become effective?

On April 3, 2013, the City of Houston passed the Developer Drainage Impact Fee Ordinance (Ordinance #2013-281), effective April 3, 2014.

How is the Developer Drainage Impact Fee related to the Drainage Utility Charge?

The Drainage Utility Charge applies to all property within the City and is paid on a regular basis, whereas the Developer Drainage Impact Fee is a one-time fee paid only by new development that results in an increase to the amount of impervious area at the time of building permit.

Who is required to pay a Developer Drainage Impact Fee?

Any new development within a Developer Drainage Impact Fee Service Area (basically within the City Limits) requires the issuance of a building permit or a connection to the City’s drainage system AND increases the amount of impervious surface may be required to pay a Developer Drainage Impact Fee at the time of building permit.

How much is my Developer Drainage Impact Fee?

The Developer Drainage Impact Fee is determined based on the number of service units a new development includes.  A service unit is defined as each 1,000 square feet of impervious surface, rounded to the nearest ten feet. The collection amounts per service unit for each Service Area are as follows:

 

Addicks Reservoir

$0.00

 

Barker Reservoir

$0.00

 

Brays Bayou

$8.63

 

Buffalo / White Oak

$16.38

 

Clear Creek

$0.39

 

Greens Bayou

$13.41

 

Hunting Bayou

$10.24

 

San Jacinto Bayou

$0.00

 

Ship Channel

$0.00

 

Sims / Vince Bayou

$17.72

 

 

How were the Developer Drainage Impact Fee amounts calculated?

The City of Houston followed the statutory requirements of Chapter 395 of the Texas Local Government Code in calculating the maximum assessable Developer Drainage Impact Fee. City Council adopted the collection amounts as part of the adopted ordinance.

What Service Area is my project in?

The Service Area boundaries follow the Tropical Storm Allison Recovery Project (TSARP) Watershed boundaries.

How much will the Developer Drainage Impact Fee be for my project?

You may utilize the Developer Drainage Impact Fee estimator tool here to calculate your anticipated impact fee due.  Final total will be determined at the time of building permit application.

How will this change storm water availability letters?

For all letters prepared on or after April 3, 2014, the City will identify the drainage service area and rate at which the development will be assessed the drainage impact fee when the developer applies for their building permit. 

When is the fee due?

The Developer Drainage Impact Fee is due at the time of building permit issuance (using the date of application for a storm water availability letter).  Any application submitted prior to April 3, 2014 will not have a drainage impact fee assessed.

What happens if I am redeveloping my property or changing the land use to an existing building?

The amount of additional impervious surface added to the property provides the basis for the number of service units (1 service unit = 1,000 square feet of impervious area).