On February 9, several DCBIA members submitted and presented oral comments at the DC Water's Open House, a forum designed to get feedback from the developer community and the public regarding their "System Availability Fee (SAF)". The SAF is one-time fee on new, renovation and redevelopment projects which is scheduled to go into effect in June 2018 and has been twice delayed in response to DCBIA and AOBA letters.
A major reason for DCBIA and AOBA opposition is that DC Water has not yet created a standardized system that allows developers to obtain "credits" from the SAF for each linear foot of public infrastructure required by DC Water to install or create on projects not truly related to the development project. The impact of this fee, which is up to $700K for projects of a certain size has the potential to derail projects, particularly affordable housing projects. At the Open House, Board members Katie Wiacek of Hines, Chris Earley of Greening Urban, Brook Katzen of UIP, John Farrell of Cushman & Wakefield and others shared strong testimony against raising the fee until and unless these major issues are addressed.
Read the comments HERE.
NAIOP MD | DC has also joined as a signatory to DCBIA and AOBA's submitted comments. This week, DCBIA shared the full submission with the DC Water Board of Directors, Deputy Mayor for Planning & Economic Development and several Councilmembers. Until these concerns are addressed, DCBIA, AOBA and NAIOP MD | DC do not believe the fee should be implemented. We will keep you posted on next steps and outcome.