FORT WAYNE – County officials are considering a new ordinance that would reimburse developers who improve roads – fees would be collected from abutting property owners who would benefit from the improvements.
The matter was deferred Friday after the Allen County commissioners said it merited further investigation.
The fees would apply to those owning properties with frontage along improved roads and only to those whose projects that have already been rezoned and approved by the county, said Bill Fishering, attorney for the county commissioners.
Fishering used the Diebold and Dupont area as an example of how the rule would work.
Parkview Health Systems paid for much of the road improvements to a section of Diebold Road near Dupont Road. Under the new ruling, Parkview, the road developer, would be able to apply to the county for a reimbursement to recover a portion of the final construction costs.
The fees would be calculated using the total cost of the improvements divided by the improved road footage, with the final amount to be determined by the Allen County Highway Department, Fishering said.
The fees would be due before the development of the property.
Commissioner Linda Bloom said she was uncomfortable with the ordinance. The proposed ruling would not be fair to some developers, since established development has already taken place, she said.
There is lots of development out there and there would not be 100 percent participation, since some of the businesses (along Diebold) have already been rezoned and constructed, Bloom said. So some would pay and some would not.
The fees should be established when the road is being improved and before development begins, Bloom said.
Three businesses on Diebold Road that were approved by the Allen County Plan Commission on Thursday have yet to come before the commissioners for final approval.
If the commissioners approve the road improvement fee ordinance before they approve the rezoning of those businesses, the new fee assessment would apply, Fishering said.