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Developer seeking reduction in Elm Street apartment project impact fees

New Hampshire Union Leader

January 15. 2018 9:47PM

MANCHESTER — A developer’s request for a reduction in school and fire impact fees associated with a proposal to construct 30 apartments in the former Ted Herbert’s building on Elm Street will be heard by the planning board later this week.

The request — from Elm Grove Companies — was originally scheduled to be heard by the planning board on Jan. 4, but that meeting was postponed because of a snowstorm.

Elm Grove Companies anticipated paying less than $40,000 in impact fees associated with the project, but is now being asked to pay $106,000 after adjustments were made to some fees for 922 Elm St., said Kir Harris, purchasing manager at Manchester-based Elm Grove.

“Adding $70,000 to the budget certainly has an impact on our ability to make it viable,” Harris said.

Elm Grove Companies is being asked to pay a school impact fee of $3,125 on each one-bedroom apartment, despite not having “a single child living in a one-bedroom or studio apartment” in the firm’s portfolio of more than 1,300 units, Harris said.

School impact fees hadn’t been updated in more than a decade and fire impact fees in more than two decades when the city’s planning department conducted a study last year on raising fees.

After the study, the total fees associated with a project like Elm Grove’s went from $1,169 per unit to $3,637 per unit or more than $70,000.

Another item on the agenda for this week’s meeting is a public hearing for a proposed charter school to occupy 16,000-square-feet at 100 William Loeb Drive, where the New Hampshire Union Leader is renting space.

The planning board meeting is slated for 6 p.m. Thursday at City Hall.

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