GREENFIELD — Greenfield could bring in about $3.6 million over the next 10 years to improve the city’s parks and trails, according to estimates of changes to the city’s park impact fee.

The Greenfield City Council approved an amendment to the city’s park impact fee ordinance last week, raising the extra cost associated with new building permits to $1,313 in 2019 for single-family homes. The fee will increase 3 percent each year to account for inflation, said Chuck Lehman, president of Lehman & Lehman Inc. of Mishawaka, a consultant the city hired to study the impact fee.

The firm projects Greenfield will issue 2,792 residential building permits over the next 10 years, adding up to about $3.6 million in park impact fee revenue. The city’s population is also projected to increase from its current count of 22,000 to about 29,000 by 2027, Lehman said.

Joanie Fitzwater, city planner for Greenfield, said the city has collected about $1.15 million through park impact fees since it was first enacted in 2009. She said through that funding the city has purchased additional park land, built connections to the Pennsy Trail and improved other Greenfield trails.

The city’s top priorities for the park impact fee revenue is to build a skate/bike park, add more shelters, gazebos, playgrounds and multi-use trails and also develop open park spaces, Fitzwater said.

The impact fee will also reduce the $1,313 price per permit based on the type of residence, Lehman said. Mobile homes, multi-family housing and one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments will have a lower fee.

Fitzwater said smaller residences don’t have as much of an impact as single-family homes. Fewer people typically live in apartments and mobile homes since the structures take up less space, she said. The park impact fee for a mobile home is $853 and a two-bedroom apartment is $1,116.

Apartment developers also have to pay for all building permits in a complex up front, so decreasing the fee could put less strain on the developer and may give them incentive to build more apartments in Greenfield, Fitzwater said. Lehman said there’s a growing trend for developers to build different types of housing options to attract a younger workforce.

The amended impact fee will go into effect on July 23, 2019, according to the ordinance.
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