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Tiburon Traffic Mitigation Fee Update

Tiburon, California
Firm Role
Impact fee analysis
9,144 residents, 13.2 square miles
Place Type

In 2017, the Town of Tiburon hired Nelson\Nygaard Consulting to update the Town's traffic mitigation fee program. Patrick Siegman directed the project team, while a Principal at Nelson\Nygaard.

To complete the work, the team followed a four-step process, drawing on Mr. Siegman’s experience developing transportation and air quality impact fees for local and regional governments:

  1. Confirm existing needs for transportation facility improvements.
  2. Forecast the need for future transportation facility improvements, to address new development.
  3. Confirm an appropriate methodology for calculating the impact fees.
  4. Recommend new impact fee levels.

As part of this work, the team reviewed the Town’s General Plan and other documents to confirm needed circulation improvements. In collaboration with Town staff, the team then generated a list of improvement projects and prepared up-to-date cost estimates for those projects.

Additionally, the team reviewed and updated the methodology used to set the Town’s existing traffic impact fees. Once a consensus had been reached on the appropriate methodology, our team calculated a fair-share transportation impact fee for new development, in compliance with California’s Mitigation Fee Act.

The resulting mitigation fee simplifies what had been an overly-complex fee structure based on statistically-insignificant differences between traffic analysis zones. The simplification eases the process of assessing fees and accounting for funds. To incentivize investment in traffic reduction measures (such as free transit passes and employee parking cash-out programs), the new fee is also assessed on a per-vehicle-trip basis, rather than a per-unit or per-square-foot basis. The updated fee was approved by the Town Council in August 2017.

Images: Tiburon, viewed from the bay, by Agunther, CC BY 3.0Tiburon from the air, by Edward Betts, CC BY-SA 3.0; both via Wikimedia Commons