Builders want impact fee case dismissed

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2008
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The Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis wants a lawsuit dismissed that involves the lawfulness of park impact fees in Zionsville.

Attorneys for BAGI filed a motion for summary judgment on March 5 in Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis v. Zionsville, which was filed in October 2006 and challenges the town's impact fee ordinance adopted in 2005.

Park impact fees go to recreational land and facilities necessitated by new residents, and are usually paid for by homebuilders when obtaining a building permit to construct a new home. The fee is often passed on to a new homeowner, typically at closing.

This suit, filed in Boone Superior Court, says that the fee of $1,862 per lot exceeds what Indiana Code allows. It asks the court to require Zionsville to instead establish a fee that conforms to state law, which states an impact fee on a development may not exceed the impact cost minus the sum of non-local revenues and impact deductions. The municipality argues the fee is consistent with the national standard.

A special judge determined Feb. 6, 2007, that BAGI has associational standing to sue Zionsville over the fees, and the trade organization is now asking for a dismissal in its favor.

In the motion, the group notes that Zionsville's impact fee is unlawful because new residents are paying the fee "not only for infrastructure that will serve them but for infrastructure that will serve future annexations of existing households."

The municipality has until early April to respond to the summary judgment motion.

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