Supervisors Help Builders; Make Fee Deferral Permanent

San Diego County’s Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Wednesday to permanently let local builders and businesses delay paying traffic, park, sewer and drainage fees until their projects are finished — to boost building and the local economy.

Supervisors approved a two-year fee-deferral program in 2009 to give the local building industry, slowed dramatically by the Great Recession, a helping hand.

Before the recession, builders and businesses had to pay those impact fees when they started building their projects. That created a debt they could not recover until the projects were finished and sold or occupied. The deferral program allows builders to voluntarily delay paying the fees if they want.

The Board approved two-year extensions of the 2009 program in 2011, 2013 and December 2015 in the hope of helping builders start projects that they might otherwise put off because of costs by saving them thousands of dollars in upfront fees.

However, in December, Supervisor Bill Horn also recommended making the fee-deferral program permanent, the action the Board approved Wednesday.

“This is an important program for the local economy,” Horn said at Wednesday’s Board meeting, “and its permanence will allow for the continued positive impact on the construction business.”

The fee deferral applies to builders of residential tract developments and commercial projects and is a voluntary program.

County Planning and Development Services staff reported that builders have been allowed to delay paying $5.66 million in fees since the program started in April 2009. 


Gig Conaughton is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact