Prior to making an application for a building permit, an applicant may request a nonbinding transportation impact fee estimate from South Fayette Township which shall be based upon the maximum development potential of the site pursuant to existing zoning regulations, unless the applicant specifies use of the development.
Collection of transportation impact fees due pursuant to this chapter shall be collected by South Fayette Township in the manner or manners prescribed herein prior to the issuance of a building permit.
Establishment of the fund. Upon receipt of transportation impact fees, South Fayette Township shall be responsible for the separate and proper accounting of such fees. All such fees shall be deposited in interest-bearing accounts in a bank authorized to receive deposits of South Fayette Township funds. Interest earned by each account shall be credited to that account and shall be used solely for the purpose specified for funds of such account.
Establishment and maintenance of accounts. The Township Manager shall establish appropriate trust fund accounts and shall maintain records whereby transportation impact fees collected can be segregated for each transportation service area.
Maintenance of records. The Township Manager shall maintain and keep adequate financial records for each such account which shall show the source and disbursement of all revenues, which shall account for all monies received and which shall ensure that the disbursement of funds from each account shall be used solely and exclusively for the provision of projects specified in the Transportation Capital Improvements Plan for the particular transportation service area.
The transportation impact fee for a specific subdivision or land development shall be paid prior to the issuance of the building permit for the development. The transportation impact fee shall be paid to the municipality in cash, bank cashier's check, certified check or electronic fund transfer approved by the Township Manager and shall be administered by South Fayette Township in accordance with the provisions of § 211-18 hereof.
Any applicant who shall perform, at its own expense and the consent and agreement of the South Fayette Township Board of Commissioners, off-site improvement, as herein defined, shall be eligible for a credit from a transportation impact fee otherwise due. Such credit shall not exceed the amount of the transportation impact fee that would have been charged if a credit was not due.
An applicant shall be entitled as a credit against impact fees an amount equal to the value of any road improvement construction which is contained in the Transportation Capital Improvements Plan and which was performed at the applicant's expense.
If the applicant makes such improvements, he shall enter into an agreement with the South Fayette Township Board of Commissioners prior to the issuance of any building permit. The agreement shall establish the estimated cost of the improvement, the schedule for initiation and completion of the improvement, a requirement that the improvement be completed to South Fayette Township and Pennsylvania Department of Transportation standards and design criteria, as applicable, and such other terms and conditions as deemed necessary by the South Fayette Township Board of Commissioners. The South Fayette Township Board of Commissioners shall review the improvement plan, verify costs and time schedules, determine if the improvement is an eligible improvement and determine the amount of the applicable credit for such improvement to be applied to the otherwise applicable transportation impact fee prior to issuance of any building permit. The amount of such credit for any capital improvement constructed shall be the amount allocated in the Transportation Capital Improvement Plan, including contingency factors, for such improvement. In no event shall the South Fayette Township Board of Commissioners provide a credit which is greater than the applicable transportation impact fee. If, however, the amount of the credit is calculated to be greater than the amount of the transportation impact fee due, the applicant may use such excess credit toward the transportation impact fees imposed on other building permits for development on the same site and in the same ownership. Any such applicant shall be required to supply financial security sufficient, in the judgment of South Fayette Township, to cover the cost of any improvement installed by the applicant for which credit is sought.
An applicant shall be entitled as a credit against transportation impact fees an amount equal to fair market value of land dedicated by the applicant to South Fayette Township and accepted by South Fayette Township for future right-of-way, realignment or widening of existing roadways. The fair market value of any land dedicated to and accepted by South Fayette Township shall be determined as of the date of the submission of the subdivision or land development application to South Fayette Township.
Transportation impact fees collected pursuant to this chapter shall be refunded, together with interest earned thereon, to the payor of the transportation impact fees under the following circumstances:
In the event South Fayette Township terminates or completes the Transportation Capital Improvements Plan and there remains at the time of termination or completion undisbursed funds, the respective payors shall be entitled to a share of the fund balance in the same proportion as the payor's transportation impact fee payment plus interest earned bears to the total transportation impact fees collected plus interest. South Fayette Township shall provide written notice by certified mail to each person who previously paid the fees and remain undisbursed that such person's proportionate share of the fund balance is available for refund to such person. Such notice shall be provided to the last known address provided by the payor of the transportation impact fees to South Fayette Township. In the event that any of the funds remain unclaimed following one year after the notice, South Fayette Township shall be authorized to transfer any funds so remaining to any other fund in South Fayette Township without any further obligation to refund said funds. It shall be the responsibility of the payor to provide South Fayette Township at all times with a current address for such notice.
In the event South Fayette Township fails to commence construction (i.e., earthwork or other municipally defined action) within three years of the scheduled construction dates of the project as set forth in the Transportation Capital Improvement Plan, South Fayette Township shall refund the portion of the transportation impact fee paid by any payor making written request therefor which is attributable to said project, with accumulated interest; provided, nevertheless, that no refund shall be payable or paid with respect to any project actually commenced prior to the receipt of such refund request, and the failure of a payor to make such written request prior to the commencement of such project shall be deemed a waiver of any right to such refund.
In the event that, upon completion of any road improvements project, the actual expenditure for the project is less than 95% of the budgeted costs for such project, South Fayette Township shall refund the pro rata difference between the budgeted costs and the actual expenditures, including interest accumulated thereon from the date of payment, to the person or persons who paid the impact fees for such improvements.
In the event the development for which transportation impact fees were paid has not commenced prior to the expiration of the building permit issued therefor, the transportation impact fees paid with accumulated interest shall be refunded to the payor. Further, if a building permit after issuance is altered in such a way as to reduce the amount of the transportation impact fee due, the difference between such amount and the amount actually paid shall be refunded. The payor, at its option, may roll over the transportation impact fees attributable to an expired building permit to cover fees incurred by a new permit.
This chapter shall not affect, in any manner, the permissible use of property, density or development, previously adopted design and improvement standards and requirements or any other aspect of the subdivision or land development or provision of public improvements which remain subject to applicable zoning, subdivision and land development and planned residential development regulations of South Fayette Township, which shall be operative and remain in full force and effect without limitation with respect to such development.
The transportation impact fee is additional and supplemental to, and not in substitution of, any other requirements imposed by South Fayette Township on the development of land or the issuance of building permits. Nothing herein contained shall be deemed to alter or affect the South Fayette Township existing ordinances and regulations regarding on-site improvements. In no event shall a property owner be obligated to pay for transportation capital improvements in an amount in excess of the amount calculated pursuant to this chapter; provided, nevertheless, that a property owner may be required to pay, pursuant to South Fayette Township ordinances, regulations or policies, for other public facilities in addition to the transportation impact fee as provided herein.
It is hereby found and declared to be the intention of South Fayette Township that the public health, safety and welfare be protected and furthered by the provisions of this chapter, and it shall be interpreted and construed liberally to effectively carry out its purposes and in such manner as to favor such public interest as opposed to any private interest.
Any person required to pay an impact fee shall have the right to contest the land use assumptions, the development and implementation of the transportation capital improvement program, the imposition of impact fees, the periodic updating of the transportation capital improvement program, the refund of impact fees and all other matters relating to impact fees, including the constitutionality or validity of the impact fee ordinance by filing an appeal with the Court of Common Pleas.
A master may be appointed by the court to hear testimony on the issues and return the record and a transcript of the testimony, together with a report and recommendations, or the court may appoint a master to hold a nonrecord hearing and to make recommendations and return the same to the court, in which case either party may demand a hearing de novo before the court.
Any cost incurred by parties in such an appeal shall be the separate responsibility of the parties.
This chapter was ordained and enacted at a regularly constituted, duly convened meeting of the Board of Commissioners of South Fayette Township, on the 17th day of October, 2011.