Transportation Impact Fee
The City Council adopted an ordinance on February 26, 2013 which established a Transportation Impact Fee (TIF) for new development and intensified land uses that will fund transportation improvements such as new sidewalks, crosswalks, traffic signal upgrades, transit, and bicycle facilities that are necessitated by the new trips associated with land use change. The fees are based on residential units or commercial square footage. The fee is charged prior to issuance of building permits, unless state law requires the City to accept later fee payment.
The Transportation Impact Fee reflects the costs associated with transportation improvements and the amount of new auto trips that can be attributed to land use changes.
Download Final Nexus Study
Ordinance Establishing the TIF
Current TIF Rates (link to the City's Fees page; select "Planning and Community Development" under "Department" drop-down menu, and "Fees" under "Category" drop-down menu.)
Proposed Update to TIF
Shifting from LOS (Level of Service) to VMT (Vehicle Miles Traveled) is an important step in aligning the development
environmental review process with local goals of GHG reduction, No Net New Trips,
and housing production.
However, recently adopted development review exemptions
limit the pool of projects subject to the new VMT criteria, thus limiting the potential
mitigations in compact, transit-friendly cities like Santa Monica. Balancing the SB 743
goal of GHG reduction with local sustainability and mobility enhancement goals require
more than a change in how we conduct transportation review of a limited number of
projects under CEQA. It will require parallel investments in local and regional policies
and actions to more broadly enable VMT and trip reductions. Changes currently being
explored by staff include enhancements to the City’s Transportation Demand
Management (TDM) Ordinance and adjusting the Transportation Impact Fee.
As part of the shift to VMT, staff will be reassessing the fees to be VMT-based (rather
than trip-based) and reviewing the current rate structure to determine if additional
increases are needed to fund transportation projects that address VMT. With the vast
majority of future development anticipated to be housing and the knowledge that there
are very few TDM strategies that are effective for residential trips, investments in the
transportation network, funded through the TIF, will become crucial for the City to be
effective in reducing VMT.