Understanding Impact Fees
Impact fees charged to certain development projects help fund affordable housing, child care, public art, and open space in Berkeley. Download and read documents to learn how the fees are being used.
Download impact fee documents and explore how Berkeley uses fees charged for development projects. Local governments charge developers impact fees to pay for the additional public services and infrastructure needed to accommodate growth. Fees ensure new development pays its fair share of the costs associated with accommodating it.
By law, fees may only be used to pay for projects to address the direct impacts of the development activities. The developer usually pays the fees after receiving approval and permits to begin construction.
The City calculates fees based on the size of the project, while considering other factors, including the type of development and population size, to properly gauge and defray the impacts of specific developments to specific services and needs.
The City’s development information and requirements are included in the zoning ordinance. The zoning ordinance’s purpose is to implement the General Plan and adopted area plans and to protect public health, safety, and welfare. Additionally, the state-mandated Housing Element describes the City’s plans to meet the housing needs of the community from 2023 to 2031. Private developments of a certain size also require either public artwork or a fee payment.
Zoning Ordinance - Title 23 of Berkeley Municipal Code – includes Development Requirements
Impact fee nexus studies
Impact fee nexus studies look at the costs associated with providing public services to a proposed development project. The studies examine the proposed project’s impact on the costs of providing public services such as water, sewer, police, fire, and public schools.
Beginning in 2022, California requires a nexus study be performed every eight years. The Land Use division will post new studies when they are completed.