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File #: 19-1825    Version: 1
Type: Agenda Item Status: Approved
File created: 12/3/2019 In control: Board of Supervisors
On agenda: 12/17/2019 Final action: 12/17/2019
Title: Department of Transportation recommending the Board: 1) Discuss the Traffic Impact Mitigation Fee zones, provide staff and their consultants with input and direction; and 2) Receive information on the existing Community Regions job data from the County’s consultant, BAE Urban Economics, Inc. (Est. Time: 1 Hr.) FUNDING: Traffic Impact Mitigation Fee Program.
Attachments: 1. A - Area Maps, 2. B - TIM Zone Information, 3. C - Community Region Job Data, 4. D - PPT TIM Fee Update PowerPoint
Related files: 19-0660, 19-1453, 19-1100, 19-1523, 19-1597, 14-0245, 20-1062, 20-1254, 20-0519, 20-0126, 20-0325, 20-1514, 20-1585


Department of Transportation recommending the Board:

1) Discuss the Traffic Impact Mitigation Fee zones, provide staff and their consultants with input and direction; and

2) Receive information on the existing Community Regions job data from the County’s consultant, BAE Urban Economics, Inc.  (Est. Time: 1 Hr.)


FUNDING: Traffic Impact Mitigation Fee Program.



On September 17, 2019 (Item 32), the Board of Supervisors (Board) directed Department of Transportation (Transportation) to accelerate the 2020 Major Update to the Traffic Impact Mitigation (TIM) Fee Program.  This is the third workshop to discuss policy items related to the TIM Fee Program.


Daily vs. Peak Hour Trip Rates

The County’s TIM Fee Program allocates the cost of roadway improvements by land use type based on “equivalent dwelling units” (EDU) - that is the demand placed on the transportation network relative to one single family dwelling unit. EDUs are currently calculated based on the number of new vehicle trips generated by that land use in the PM peak hour. Because infrastructure needs are typically governed by roadway capacity during the PM peak hour, this approach is defensible and typical of most TIM fee programs.


Members of the development community had asked the County to consider basing the TIM Fee Program on Average Daily Traffic (ADT) instead of Peak Hour volumes.  However, the County’s General Plan has the following policies that directly address the use of peak hour periods:


                     General Plan Policy TC-Xa(1) states, “Traffic from residential development projects of five or more units or parcels of land shall not result in, or worsen, Level of Service F (gridlock, stop-and-go) traffic congestion during weekday, peak-hour periods on any highway, road, interchange or intersection in the unincorporated areas of the county.”  (emphasis added) 


This policy was placed into the General Plan via voter initiative known as Measure Y.  A new initiative to change the metric to ADT would need to be approved by the voters.


                     El Dorado County General Plan Policy TC-Xc states, “Developer paid traffic impact fees combined with other available funds shall fully pay for building all necessary road capacity improvements to fully offset and mitigate all direct and cumulative traffic impacts from new development during peak hours upon any highways, arterial roads and their intersections during weekday, peak-hour periods in unincorporated areas of the county.” (emphasis added) 


A General Plan Amendment would need to be processed to change the time period to ADT.  The amendment would have to occur after a voter initiative is approved to change Policy TC-Xa(1).


Per the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) and the Highway Capacity Manual (HCM), determination of level of service for roadways and intersections as well as the design of roadways and intersections both utilize peak hour traffic volumes as a common base in their calculations, which is why these volumes are used as the basis for TIM Fee programs. Transportation staff knows of only one jurisdiction, City of Elk Grove, which has a fee program based on ADT.  Peak hour volumes are still utilized by the City to determine level of service and designs for roadways and intersections.


Due to the accelerated schedule for this Major Update to the TIM Fee Program, it would be impossible to change the basis of the TIM Fee in the current time frame of the project.  Additionally, TIM Fees based on peak hour is the industry standard.  For these reasons, this subject will not be up for discussion during this workshop.


TIM Fee Zone Structure

The TIM Fee Program has eight (8) TIM Fee zones.  A map with the delineation of the TIM Fee Zone and Community Region Boundaries is Attachment A.   It has been the policy of the Board since 2006 to combine TIM Fee Zones 2 and 3 based on the similar characteristics, shared infrastructure and straddling of U.S. Highway 50.  A multi-zonal structure has been a part of the various TIM fee programs since 1996 with the implementation of the State TIM Fee.  In the formation of the 2006 TIM Fee Program, an eight-zone structure was ultimately selected as appropriate to recognize the different land use characteristics of various areas of the County, while keeping the number of zones manageable for ease of fee calculations, updates and implementation.  The boundaries of these zones were based on a combination of the market areas included in the 2004 General Plan environmental analysis, historic community boundaries, traffic flow sheds, rural versus urban development patterns, etc.


During the last major update to the TIM Fee Program, there were extensive discussions on the TIM Fee zone structure.  Four options were explored, including the existing eight-zone structure, an eight-zone structure smoothed to conform to the travel demand model’s traffic analysis zones, a population equivalency five-zone structure, and a four-zone structure that grouped the zones with similar fees.  Discussions of the options were held during four different Board workshops.  All workshops had the same Legistar number 14-0245 and were held on February 10, 2015 (Item 27, Version 7); May 5, 2015 (Item 25, Version 8); September 22, 2015 (Item 20, Version 9); and on December 7, 2015 (Item 3, Version 13).  At the December 7, 2015 meeting, the Board approved the use of the smoothed eight-zone TIM fee zone geography and to merge TIM Fee Zones 2 and 3 to maintain the status quo.  Pertinent attachments from the four workshops have been combined into Attachment B. 


The unmerging of TIM Fee Zones 2 and 3 has been one of the main topics of consideration when discussing the TIM fee zone structure.  Opinions have been expressed that TIM Fee Zone 3 is subsidizing Zone 2, and the reasons for combining the two zones are no longer valid.  This Major Update may identify the Missouri Flat Road Interchange Phase 2 project for inclusion in the TIM Fee Program.  Should the project be included, and the Missouri Flat Master Circulation and Financing Plan (MC&FP) Phase 2 be adopted, TIM Fee Zone 3 will be affected. 


Another point for consideration is the number of TIM fee zones.  It has been suggested that there should be as few as one TIM fee zone for the whole west slope.  Staff would propose that at a minimum, TIM Fee Zone 8 (El Dorado Hills) remain intact due to pre-existing agreements and development of this area under a previously created fee program referred to as the El Dorado Hills/Salmon Falls Area Road Improvement Fee Program.  Much of the discussion regarding fewer TIM fee zones was considered during the last Major Update to the TIM Fee Program (See Attachment B). 


As of the launch date for this agenda item, no additional concerns have been expressed.


Growth Projections Additional Information

At the November 19, 2019 (Item 35), workshop on growth projections, the Board requested additional information from BAE Urban Economics, Inc. (BAE) regarding the jobs/housing ratio by Community Region.  BAE added in the factor for employed residents per housing unit to account for the fact that not all housing units are occupied by people who have or need jobs.  Within each Community Region, the numbers are indicating jobs and housing (or employed residents) that are located in that specific Community Region, however, typically the jobs in the Community Region are not necessarily held by the people living in the Community Region and vice-versa (See Attachment C).



Based on input from the Board and coordination with County staff, DKS Associates and Kimley-Horn Associates will make any necessary refinements and finalize the TIM Fee Zone boundaries. 


Staff is recommending that the Board discuss the TIM fee zones and provide staff and their consultants with input and direction.



The Board could choose to leave the TIM Fee Zones 2 and 3 combined. 



On May 14, 2019 (Item 41), the Board directed staff to move forward with the Major Update to the TIM Fee Program.  On September 17, 2019 (Item 32), the Board directed staff to expedite the 2020 Major TIM Fee update and provide public outreach by holding workshops at the Board.  On October 8, 2019 (Item 26), the Board received Technical Memorandum 1A: Vehicle Miles Traveled Based Equivalent Dwelling Units Rates, Technical Memorandum 1B: Fee Rates by Size of Single-Family Unit, Technical Memorandum 1C: Age-Restricted Fee Category, and the proposed schedule for the Major Update to the TIM Fee Program and Capital Improvement Program (CIP).  On October 22, 2019 (Item 21), the Board approved Agreement 4324 with DKS Associates in the amount of $300,000 to provide staff assistance in developing the Major Update to the TIM Fee Program and CIP.  On November 19, 2019 (Item 35), the Board approved the use of a 0.70% annual growth rate for residential growth and 0.67% annual growth rate for non-residential growth for the next twenty year period for the TIM Fee Major Update.



Planning and Building Department

County Counsel



It is recommended that the Board receive the presentation, discuss the matter, and provide feedback and direction to staff as necessary.



There is no change to Net County Cost associated with this agenda item. 






TIM Fee funding is a major funding source for the CIP, which is a vital part of the Infrastructure component of the County Strategic Plan.  Adequate infrastructure is necessary for the Economic Development component and is a requirement of the County General Plan.  Safe roads are a crucial factor in the Public Safety component of the County Strategic Plan.



Rafael Martinez, Director

Department of Transportation