Effective June 8, 2017, many new developments in Berkeley will be assessed one-time Developer Fees, known also as a School Facility Fee, by the Berkeley Unified School District.
The fees will be $3.48 per square foot for residential development of more than 500 square feet and $0.56 per square foot for new commercial and industrial development.
For questions or additional information, call BUSD Facilities at 510-644-6066 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Background and rationale for the fees:
California state law authorizes local school districts to adopt one-time fees for new housing and commercial developments. The fees are designed to help school districts meet the costs of expanding their facilities to accommodate increased enrollment caused by new development.
Such fees have been widely adopted by districts in California, including many of Berkeley’s neighboring districts such as Oakland, Alameda, West Contra Costa County, San Francisco and Hayward. Berkeley Unified School District, however, has been enduring an extra financial burden caused by not having such fees and thus not receiving the revenue that State law authorizes for development-caused enrollment growth.
Accordingly, the BUSD Board of Education took up the issue of developer fees in Oct. 2015, as reported at the time by Berkeleyside. The Board voted unanimously on Oct. 28, 2015 to proceed with an independent study of the impact of new development on enrollment in Berkeley and the corresponding amount of fees that would be justified. The study, completed in Sept. 2016 and described in a presentation at the Board’s Dec. 7, 2016 meeting, found that BUSD would be justified in collecting the legal maximum of $3.48 per square foot for residential development of more than 500 square feet and $0.56 per square foot for new commercial and industrial development.
On Feb. 8, 2017, the Board of Education held a public hearing on the fees and subsequently voted unanimously to adopt them.