City’s fee action can help construction

The decision by Grand Junction planning officials to allow builders to postpone payments on thousands of dollars of city development fees may not be the make-or-break factor for most new construction projects. But it’s not something that should be summarily dismissed as meaningless.

Especially for a small development company or an individual builder, the ability to delay more than $6,000 for a single-family home in what have heretofore been up-front development costs could make a big difference. As the head of one real-estate investment and development company noted, delaying those costs until the project is nearing completion could aid in getting a project financed and therefore under construction.

Beyond that, it shows that the city isn’t simply proceeding with business as usual in the face of the worst economic slowdown in decades. City officials recognize the plummeting numbers in building permits are cause for great concern and that they must make changes to encourage more construction.

One local contractor argues that postponing the city development fees won’t do enough to stimulate new construction. And it may be that the city will want to look at more options if the construction industry doesn’t improve.

But for now, we applaud city planning officials for taking an important step to try to improve the development climate in this community.


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