Riverside County Chapter Elections Update
8 out of 9 candidates supported by Riverside County Chapter BIA in Nov. 5th election victorious!
On November 5th, a limited number of elections were held in Riverside County where BIASC Riverside County Chapter endorsed and supported several candidates with BIA PAC Contributions, including support for a School board candidate and new political face in Riverside named Brent Lee challenging a longtime incumbent and highly respected former City Councilman. Each candidate completed a questionnaire and went through the interview process. Well today after the dust has settled I am pleased to announce the victories of 8 out of 9 our supported candidates in their elections. The folks that we supported have either been strategic partners for us that understand the issues our industry encounters or new faces with promising future careers that through their own backgrounds recognize the important role that the BIA plays in Riverside County.
We congratulate the following recently elected community leaders listed below:
Brent Lee, Riverside Unified School District Trustee
Joe Stuart, Desert Water Agency Board
James Cioffi, Desert Water Agency Board
Nancy Wright, Mission Springs Water District Board
Jeff Bowman, Mission Springs Water District Board
Christopher Mills, Palm Springs City Council
Yvonne Parks, Mayor – Desert Hot Springs (Lost by 12 votes after provisional vote count)
Scott Matas, City Council, Desert Hot Springs
Jan Pye, City Council, Desert Hot Springs
Yvonne Parks was a voice of reason for the BIA, we will be sad to see her leave the City Council and we wish her well.
One of the higher profile races was the City of Riverside Ward 3 Council Race. The Riverside County Chapter chose not to get involved in this race due to the fact that we and many of our members were close and had good relationships with both candidates. As such, we do have a strong positive relationship with the winner of that contest Mike Soubirous. We congratulate him and look forward to working with him in his new capacity.
CITY COUNCIL, CITY OF RIVERSIDE Ward 3
Wildomar Development Impact Fee Study Update
Successfully negotiated significant Fee Reductions, Phase-In and Fee Payment Option at Certificate of Occupancy
For over a year now the Riverside County BIA Chapter has been engaged with the City of Wildomar, its staff and councilmembers working with them to ensure a reasonable result when the DIF Study was ready to go to Council. Several months ago one of our last meetings had taken place with the City with an expectation to hear back from them industry concerns.
Fast forward to October our concern increased when we had learned staff was preparing to bring the DIF study to council without the BIA having an opportunity to review the final report. We once again engaged the city staff and councilmembers and successfully postponed its introduction giving us time to review the draft study. We outlined our concerns, chief among them being a request to put back in to place the time honored tradition of allowing builders the option of paying fees at any time between pulling the permit up to certificate of occupancy which wasn’t included in their final draft and a two interval phase in initiating 50% of the increase 6 months after it becomes effective and then increase to the full amount 1 year after its effective date.
I am pleased to announce that as a result of our strong partnership with the City of Wildomar and their recognition of the fragility of the industry’s current gains, City of Wildomar staff will be including into their final study report recommendation for both of our chief requests for Council consideration. In addition from the point of inception to the final outcome the BIA was successful in reducing the initial study recommended amount by roughly $6000. We still have concerns and will continue to monitor their land valuation and parks component.
This is a big win for our industry and the City of Wildomar. The City Council is proactive in promoting the growth of its city and these results we feel will help them achieve their responsible growth and development goals by incentivizing our industry to build in Wildomar.
County Development Impact Fee Update
50% Fee Reduction now in place retroactively beginning July 1 through January 2014
In September Supervisor John Tavaglione introduced Agenda Item 3 – 103 Riverside County Ordinance that amended the Development Impact Fee Program. The amendment passed on a 4 -0 vote and reinstated a 50% reduction in the Development Impact Fees (DIF), effective retroactively to July 1st 2013. It is expected that this reduction will be in place for the remainder of the year and that once the newly revised DIF Study is adopted the new fee would phase in over some extended period of time. If you have paid your DIF to the County of Riverside post July 1st you will be eligible for a reimbursement of 50% of the paid DIF beginning in November.
With home prices rising rapidly in the region, we have already noticed the faster pace of development from the first half of this year, begin to slow. This incentive will aid a much stronger economic growth period for the county