Impact fees increase for RiverWalk Village affordable housing project

Construction in St. George, Utah, Oct. 25, 2019 | File photo courtesy Switchpoint Community Resource Center

ST. GEORGE — With the RiverWalk Village project closing in on completion, St. George city officials announced that the impact fees for the development will see a modest increase.

RiverWalk’s impact fees will increase from $316,623 to $341,104, an increase of nearly $24,500 or approximately 7.7%. Payment on the fees will remain deferred for 10 years per previous agreement.

Impact fees are one-time charges to new construction that are applied for the expansion of city services to accommodate continued growth. The fees cover services such as water, power, sewer, storm drainage, transportation, public safety and potentially parks and recreation. Fees are paid by developers and can be passed along to residential consumers.

As the project was going through construction, it was determined additional power was needed, Housing and Economic Development Director Shirlayne Quayle said, explaining that the difference in impact fees will be added to the previously approved deferred amount.

RiverWalk Village is a 55-unit multifamily apartment complex that targets extremely low income and chronically homeless individuals. The property will not be a shelter, but rather a permanent home for low-income residents and families already earning income through a job or via social security retirement payments.

Located at 2450 East Dinosaur Crossing Drive, the site of the future transitional housing complex broke ground in May 2019 and covers 4.7 acres next to the newly constructed Grayhawk development. The three-story complex will include units ranging from one to four bedrooms and is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.

Carol Hollowell (right), executive director of the Switchpoint Community Resource Center, was one of the driving forces behind getting the RiverWalk Village project to the groundbreaking stage, St. George, Utah, May 3, 2019 | File photo by Mori Kessler. St. George News

RiverWalk rents will be based on a sliding scale depending on how much money a qualified resident earns. It will also feature a mix of market-rate units and units supplied via vouchers from the St. George Housing Authority.

The complex will also feature onsite case management and classes for residents geared toward promoting self-sufficiency.

The project was spearheaded by the Friends of Switchpoint, the nonprofit group that runs Switchpoint Community Resource Center, the homeless shelter and resource center in St. George.

According to a 2019 market study conducted by Switchpoint, St. George needs approximately 1,800 housing units to alleviate a shortage in affordable housing.

The vast majority of the $11.5 million RiverWalk project was raised via federal grants, tax credits, private donors, state funding and the city of St. George, which invested approximately $1.3 million into the project.

St. George News writers Mori Kessler and Joseph Witham contributed to this story.

Ed. note: After initial publication, a quote from Quayle about impact fees adjustments was clarified.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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