Department of Planning & Zoning

Impact Fee Administrative Regulations

Rates Updated for FY19

Sec. 1.0 Definitions:

  1. Impact Fee. An impact fee is a fee charged against new development to help offset the costs of new infrastructure required by the City's growth.
  2. New Development. New development refers to the construction, reconstruction, conversion, structural alteration, relocation or enlargement of any building, or any change in the use of any building.

Sec. 2.0 Effective Date: Impact fees were adopted by unanimous vote of the Burlington City Council on October 13, 1992 and went into effect on November 13, 1992. All covered projects which receive zoning approval on or after this date are subject to impact fees.

Sec. 3.0 Covered Projects: Any new development or additions to existing buildings which result in new dwelling units or in new nonresidential buildings square footage are subject to impact fees as is any change of use which results in an added impact according to the Table of Impact Fees in Sec. 5.0.

Sec. 4.0 Exemptions: Certain types of development are exempt from impact fees including the following:

  • additions to existing dwelling units, provided such additions are for residential purposes;
  • alterations to an existing use provided that such alteration occurs entirely within an existing building and within the same square footage;
  • land development which does not result in new building square footage (e.g. parking lots, facade renovations, signs, etc.);
  • additions to existing buildings for which the sole purpose is to provide additional means of egress (e.g. stair towers, etc).

Sec. 5.0 Calculation of Impact Fee: Impact fees are based on building square footage as per the following table:

Table of Impact Fees *
($ per 1,000 sq. ft. - in 2018 dollars)
Department Residential Industrial Offices & Other Retail
Traffic (DPW) 196 262 676 736
Fire 222 196 199 199
Police 044 351 351 351
Parks 743 422 418 418
Library 460 000 000 000
Schools 961 000 000 000
Total $2,626 $1,231 $1,644 $1,704
* Figures adjusted as of 7/1/18 to reflect 2.5% increase in the Consumer Price Index.

  1. Total Square Footage. Impact fees are calculated on the total gross square footage of the principal use of a building, including accessory uses. In the event there is more than one principal use within a building, impact fees will be calculated separately for each principal use and associated accessory uses, with common space computed on a pro-rata basis.
  2. Change of Use. For a change of use where there is an increased impact, the impact fee will be the difference in the amount for the specific uses as listed in the Table of Impact Fees; for example, if an industrial building is converted to residential use, the impact fee per 1,000 square feet would be $1395 ($2626 minus $1231 equals $1395).
  3. No Net Change. If there is no change in use and no increase in square footage for that use, the impact fee would be $0.

Sec. 6.0 Distribution of Impact Fees: Impact fees received will be distributed to city departments, upon authorization by the City Treasurer, solely for the purpose of capital projects, according to the Table of Impact Fees in Sec 5.0 of these regulations.

Sec. 7.0 Annual Adjustment: There shall be an automatic annual increase to the impact fee schedule specified in Sec 5.0 of these regulations as of July 1, 1993 and every July 1 thereafter, equivalent to 100% of the annual change in the Consumer Price Index.

Sec. 8.0 Effect of Project Change on Impact Fees: If a proposed development is substantially modified in terms of square footage, a request for an adjustment to the impact fee may be made by filing a zoning permit application subject to the applicable filing fees. Any adjustment, if approved, is subject to the Table of Impact Fees in effect at time of the subsequent approval. Any change which increases a project size or impact shall require a new zoning permit and an accompanying adjustment to the impact fee amount.

Sec. 9.0 Demolition or Change to Existing Building: No impact fee rebates shall be authorized for the demolition of an existing building, a reduction in size of an existing building, or a change in the use of an existing building. There are no rebates if one decides to reduce the use of (or is unable to use) one's property for any reason.

Sec. 10.0 Time and Place of Payment: Impact fees must be paid to the City's Treasurer's Office according to the following schedule:

  • New Buildings: Impact fees must be paid at least seven (7) days prior to occupancy of a new building or any portion thereof;
  • Existing Buildings: Impact fees must be paid prior to issuance of a zoning permit, or if a building permit is required, within thirty (30) days of issuance of the building permit.

Sec. 11.0 School Impact Fee Exemption: That portion of impact fees attributable to school impacts shall not be required for senior citizen housing projects, or for that portion of a project where certain units are reserved specifically for the elderly. Any project, or portion thereof, which meets either state or federal guidelines for elderly housing shall be deemed a senior citizen housing project and eligible for a full or partial waiver of school impact fees.

Sec. 12.0 Affordable Housing Waivers: Any residential project containing newly constructed units or substantially rehabilitated housing units that are affordable for households as described in subsections (a), (b) or (c) are eligible for a waiver of impact fees for that portion of the project. The terms, rules and regulations used herein shall be the same as those defined and specified in the Burlington Zoning Ordinance pertaining to Inclusionary Zoning (Article 9 Part 1).

  1. 25% Waiver of Fees: Twenty-five percent (25%) of the fees will be waived for any unit in a project that initially sells for a price that is affordable for households below 90% of median income or that initially rents for a three year period for a price (including utilities) that is affordable for households below 75% of median income.
  2. 50% Waiver of Fees: Fifty percent (50%) of the fees will be waived for that portion of a residential project that meets the dual test of initial affordability and continuing affordability. For the purposes of this section, "initial affordability" would be defined as a unit that sells for a price that is affordable for households earning less than 75% of median income or that rents for a price (including utilities) that is affordable for households earning below 65% of median. "Continuing affordability" would be defined as affordability that lasts for a period of 99 years.
  3. 100% Waiver of Fees: One hundred percent (100%) of the fees will be waived for that portion of a residential project that initially sells or rents for a price that is affordable for households earning less than 50% of median income and that remains continually affordable as defined above.

Sec. 13.0 Median Income Provisions: For purposes of determining median income, the income levels specified in Article 9 Part 1 of the Burlington Comprehensive Development Ordinance, or the most recent amendment thereto, shall be applicable.

Sec. 14.0 Penalties for Nonpayment: If an impact fee is not paid, a certificate of occupancy can be denied, a lien can be placed upon the property, and a fine of $200 a day can be assessed along with other court-imposed penalties.

Sec. 15.0 Expenditures of Impact Fees: Impact fees must be used for capital improvements to accommodate the demands created by new growth. The City Treasurer shall maintain records of all impact fee receipts and disbursements by category, and include a summary of same in each City Annual Report. Any expenditure of impact fees must be authorized by the City Treasurer.

Sec. 16.0 Time Limit on Expenditures: If an impact fee is not expended on eligible capital improvements by the city within six (6) years of payment, it must be refunded to the property owner by the City Treasurer along with any accrued interest.

Sec. 17.0 Relationship to Other Fees: Impact fees do not replace other fees pertaining to development projects. All applicable permit fees, including, but not limited to, development review fees and building permit fees, must be paid prior to occupancy.

End of Impact Fee Administrative Regulations