bblcity-thumbThe City Council of Big Bear Lake returned to the topic of New Development Mitigation Fees at their meeting of April 27, as they had asked staff for some revisions to the ordinance when discussed at their April 13 meeting. As presented this round—with an effective date of September 1 (rather than 30 days from adoption), deferral of payment until final inspection, and a waiver for affordable housing projects (to be paid instead with Redevelopment Agency funds)—Council approved the first reading of the ordinance, which will likely be adopted at their meeting of May 11. New Development Mitigation Fees are used by the City to recover costs associated with future construction of public infrastructure facilities and improvements necessitated by increased development.
Council also revisited the conversation with regard to a proposed first-time homebuyer payment assistance program, to be implemented through the City’s Improvement Agency, which is chaired by Liz Harris. As Harris explained to fellow Council members Bill Jahn, Michael Karp and Darrell  Mulvihill, “I think this will really help us get foreclosures and short-sale homes off the market, and keep those areas from getting blighted.” As Mayor Rick Herrick was absent (due to illness), the four on the dais debated some sticking points on the new policy—notably, the years, from five to 10, that new homeowners would need to live in the home without penalty or repayment—and did not reach consensus. As a vote was likely to result in a tie, Harris opted to hold the vote until the full Council was present at a future meeting. As proposed by staff, the homebuyer down payment assistance program would be offered to moderate-income households on homes that cost no more than $380,000 in the City of Big Bear Lake; homebuyers would be provided up to 5% of the purchase price, provided that they have funds to cover at least 2% of the home purchase price and could qualify for a standard 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.