Bill To Automatically Adjust Impact Fee Each Year Introduced

A hearing is expected on the bill in the future.


Frederick, Md (KM) Impact fees would be adjusted automatically each year under legislation introduced on Tuesday to the Frederick County Council

Impact fees are charged to new home buyers for the “impact” their new homes have on schools and libraries. The revenues raised by this fee are used to fund increased school and library capacity

The bill would also require an annual report to  the Council on impact fee adjustments by January 15th. Any adjustments would take affect by July 1st of the year of that report without any action by the Council, unless the board enacts a bill to keep the fees at their current rate on or before June 30th of the year they are to be adjusted.

The legislation is sponsored by Councilmen Jerry Donald and Steve McKay. Donald says these adjustments in the fees are based on the costs of schools and libraries. He also said it doesn’t necessarily mean that the fees will go up each year. “The fees can go up or down based on the type of dwelling: single family, townhouse, multi-family, those kind of homes. The per-pupil yield for that home and the cost indexes,” he said.

The fiscal year 2020 adjustments of  school and library impact fees  would go down on single family homes, but increase on town houses, duplexes and other residences.

But the General Manager of the Lake Linganore Association, Michelle Dostin, was concerned about the affect these fee adjustments could have on the Association’s more than 13,000 members. She says the community “has been around for 50 years and is only half built. And so the members of that community that currently  live there are bearing the burden of what was meant to be paid by double or triple the amount of lot owners,” Dostin said. She asked for a meeting between the Association and the Council to discuss this issue.

Patrick Shemp of Monrovia said he supports an annual adjustment to the fees “I think it’s wise to review what you’re basing our fees on,” he said.

The Council is expected to hold a public hearing on this legislation in the future.

On another issue, the Council approved the appointment of Rick Harcum as the county’s Chief Administrative Officer. He has been in that position on an acting basis since Ray Barnes retired on January 31st.

Harcum started working for the county in February, 2016 as budget director. Prior to that, he worked for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority for more than 25 years, and  the Maryland Department of Transportation.



By Kevin McManus