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Thread: Community facilities standards: are there any out there?

  1. #1

    Community facilities standards: are there any out there?

    We are in the process of increasing the connectivity of our Comprehensive Plans we write and are interested in finding any formulas/numbers on how to project future needs of community facilities (i.e. schools, fire protection, police protection, recreation...). Does anyone have any ideas of web pages to search or do you have standards yourself that you use to project the needs of services in the future? I appreciate any input!

  2. #2
    I have worked on several comp plans that tie their capital facility planning process with their budget process. Typically, the first step was to assign level of service standards (i.e. how much facility/service a jurisdiction will support per unit of measure (e.g. per capita, per acre, etc.). Most LOS studies I've seen were performed by consultants who perform an in depth economic analysis. It is crucial that you determine existing facilities from future needs as most often impact fees are assessed based on the anaylsis. New development will be adamant that they pay only their fair share and may challenge if they feel they are paying for amortization of existing facilities.

    Examples of determining LOS are as follows:

    police: determine the annual calls for service, divide by total population (to get an annual calls for service LOS) and determine the number of officers currently needed to respond to those calls. From that you can figure out the number of police vehicles, for example (e.g. 2 officers per car). Then, plot of future projected population, determine how many CFS they will generate and determine the number of officers you will need and thus, the number of vehicles needed.

    Parks: calculate the total acreage and your current population to get an acreage per person ration. Apply this to your projected population to determine future acreage needs.

    Of course my examples are very rudimentary and it will take a lot of time and effort to come up with defensible LOS standards. However, if you are not using the figures to assign impact fees, you may be able to skate with a less comprehensive study using the examples I provided above.

    I don't know of many "impact fee rate studies" that are available on-line and I doubt that many comp plans that are on line go into the methodology behind their LOS calculations. You might ask your state planning authority (if you have one).

    Good luck.

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