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Special judge invalidates local impact fee

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In the first court decision of its kind in Indiana, a special judge has invalidated Zionsville's parks impact fee because it violates state statute.

Boone Superior Special Judge Rebecca McClure granted summary judgment Friday in favor of the Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis in the case of BAGI v. Zionsville Plan Commission, et al., No. 06D01-0610-PL-0380, ruling that the town's 2005 ordinance establishing a park impact fee doesn't comply with the impact-fee statute requirements outlined in portions of Indiana Code Section 36-7-4.

In March, attorneys for BAGI filed a motion for summary judgment in the case that was filed in October 2006 and challenged the local fee of $1,862 per lot. The association argued the amount exceeds what state statute allows and asked the court to require Zionsville to instead establish a fee conforming to Indiana law.

Park impact fees go to recreational land and facilities necessitated by new residents. The fees 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. Statue says that an impact fee on a development may not exceed the impact cost minus the sum of non-local revenues and impact deductions.

In her ruling, Judge McClure noted that the municipality's utilization of the "national average" in determining the local impact fee fails to comply with state law.

Attorney Bryan Babb, who represented the builders association, credited Judge McClure for a fine job on a difficult issue of first impression.

"This is the first ruling that has interpreted the Impact Fee Statute to invalidate an impact fee," he said.

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  1. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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