Desert Hot Springs Keeps Fixed Fees To Encourage Commercial Construction


Desert Hot Springs will not increase the fees for developers who build commercial and office space, or isolated housing on “infill lots” in certain areas of the city.

The city charges this development impact fee to fund public facilities that become necessary due to increased development, in accordance with the California Mitigation Fee Act.

Council members voted in November to adopt an update development cost impact study, which established the maximum fees the city can charge developers. But the council has asked city staff to review these charges for commercial / office and residential space after concerns were raised about their potential increase.

The council voted at its Wednesday meeting to lower fees – by the maximum amount recommended in the updated study – for commercial / office space and single-family homes in the Cholla Drive area at Verbena Drive and Two Bunch. Palms Trail at Mission Lakes Boulevard.

Authorities found the area was home to the majority of the city’s vacant infill lots, Deputy City Manager Daniel Porras said. He said the fee reduction would encourage residential development there.

“Vacant infill lots will be developed, illegal dumping in vacant lots will be reduced and the infrastructure connecting all lots will be completed,” Porras said.

Builders happy with the decision

The development cost impact study recommended that the charges for commercial / office space be increased from $ 9.59 per square foot to a maximum of $ 14.82 per square foot and that detached units be increased from $ 9,103 per unit to a maximum of $ 12,037 per unit, according to a presentation at the November 2 board meeting.

Rather, these charges will remain at the current level of $ 9.59 per square foot for commercial / office space and grow to $ 9,104 per unit for isolated dwellings in certain areas, according to a report from city staff.

Gretchen Gutierrez, CEO of the Desert Valley Builders Association, said the group had met with city staff and supported their recommendation.

“What we’re asking is that you embrace this because we want to build these infill lots,” Gutierrez said. “We would love to see them completed for your community. ”

Mayor Pro Tem Gary Gardner has said he is particularly keen on keeping the fees for the city’s infill lots, as keeping them lower will reduce overall housing costs and help keep the costs down. figures from the regional assessment of the city’s housing needs.

Mayor Scott Matas appointed Gardner as mayor Pro Tem at Wednesday’s meeting. Previously, board member Russell Betts held the post.

“I am very happy with what we have here in front of us and I am very happy to support it,” said Gardner.

Betts said it made sense to lower those fees to encourage the development of new retail and housing development in Desert Hot Springs.

“Everyone knows the costs are going up. It is much more expensive to build a house, to own a house, to buy a house, ”he said. “So I think the extent to which we can maintain the fees recommended by the consultants and adopted by this council is a very positive decision for this city and for this council.”

Increase in royalties on apartments, mobile homes and other buildings

Development impact fees will increase for attached dwellings, mobile homes, commercial housing, and industrial and manufacturing spaces by 2022.

Fees for attached units will increase from $ 10,011 to $ 10,174 per unit, mobile homes will increase from $ 6,969 to $ 7,172 per unit, commercial units will increase from $ 3,667 to $ 3,891 per room and industrials and manufacturers will drop from $ 3.95 to $ 4.88 per square foot, according to the presentation at the November 2 board meeting.

Ani Gasparyan covers the western Coachella Valley towns, Desert Hot Springs, and Cathedral City. Contact her at

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