Yuri Calderon Attorney | Santa Barbara School District Developer Fees

As shared by Yuri Calderon attorney:

Yuri Calderon attorney has extensive experience representing public school districts in San Diego and Santa Barbara. His role includes:

  • Supporting school construction programs.
  • Participating in developer negotiations.
  • Project management.
  • Various school business-related issues.

Yuri’s commitment to public education, integrity, and transparency is unparalleled. Yuri Calderon attorney is the chief business officer and highly experienced in providing legislative guidance, and support to the California public school districts. Yuri Calderon is a graduate Attorney of the University of Denver and Georgetown University Law Center.

School Developer Fees 

In 1986, the California Legislature authorized school districts to levy developer fees on industrial, commercial, and residential development projects. The law dictates that funds collected from these projects be directed to funding the construction/reconstruction of school facilities to mitigate the impacts of the development on local schools. 

Developer fees allow school districts to improve facilities contemporaneously with new developments thereby ensuring that school facilities can absorb the new students generated by those facilities.  The authority to assess Developer Fees is derived in the Education Code Section 17620. 

Yuri Calderon Attorney explains that developer fees are fees paid by property owners and developers to school districts in a layman’s language. The contributions are used in mitigating the impact created by new development(s) within a school district’s boundaries on the school facilities. 

The fees are paid to the school district as a condition of a property owner/developer securing a building permit from the county or city to develop a project. 

Developer Fees Level 1

Yuri Calderon, a representative of Cold Springs School District in Santa Barbara County, explains that the State’s developer fees are considered necessary mitigation fees. 

The fees’ justification can be shown when and if anticipated industrial, commercial, and residential development within the Cold Spring School District will lead to additional students. The State Allocation Board (SAB) adjusts the rates every two years. 

The current rates were passed into law on January 22, 2020. The rates are charged as follows; $0.66 per square foot for industrial/commercial construction and $4.08 per square foot for residential construction. The level one fees will be adjusted again in January 2022. 

Developer Fees Level 2 

Level 2 developer fees apply solely to residential construction. Level 2 fees are designed to represent fifty-percent of a school district’s facility construction costs per new home. 

The fees come into effect when the SAB sits and apportions state school facility funding to school districts. Level 2 studies are valid for twelve months. To qualify for level 2 fees, school districts need to meet the following requirements:

  1. A minimum of 20% of the district’s classrooms should be portable
  2. 30% of students on Multi-Track all year round
  3. A bond election should be have been held in the last four years and garnered 50+1 yes votes
  4. A capital facility debt at 15% of the bonding capacity

Individual school districts such as Cold Spring decide whether to level fees. They come up with a rate that is up to the maximum allowed by the law. 

The maximum rate adjusted for inflation every two years is higher for residential construction than for commercial building. 

School districts are charged with substantiating the financial impact of new development. They have to show their use of the revenue in addressing this impact. Proceeds are used for building/renovating schools and portable classrooms.  

Annual & Five Year Developer Fee Fund Report 

The Government Code demands that an annual report of income and expenditures arising from developer fees be made available to the public. The information should include the beginning and ending fund balances of the fiscal year. The report should be adopted within 180 days of the close of the fiscal year.. 

Yuri Calderon Attorney, Santa Barbara school district representative, explains that the Government Code 66001 requires a five-year report should any funds remain in the Fund at the end of the previous fiscal year.