16 January, 2024

Independence Proposes Massive SDC Hike

The City of Independence has proposed a massive $21,000 increase in their water System Development Charge (SDC), increasing Independence’s total SDCs to nearly $54,000. If adopted at the Independence City Council’s February 27th meeting, Independence’s SDCs would be the most expensive in the state of Oregon.

The proposed increase in the water SDC is being driven by the need for a new water supply plant drawing water from the Willamette River, as Independence’s current well system will be at capacity in the early part of the next decade and additional well capacity is not feasible due to groundwater supply and quality issues. While an increase in the SDC may be necessary in order to provide additional water supply needed by future growth, the HBA has already analyzed the city’s proposal and found that Independence is proposing to use part of these SDC increases to pay for replacement of existing water lines in older neighborhoods that are at the end of their useful life – a clear violation of Oregon law regarding the use of SDC funds. The HBA is gearing up to oppose the city’s water SDC proposal and has engaged consultants to further analyze the SDC methodology and master plan.

Builders with lots in Independence are urged to submit their building permit applications no later than Tuesday, February 27th in order to avoid the $21,000 increase. Those with lots or land in Independence are also asked to reach out to Mike Erdmann at the HBA so you can be included in future communication regarding the HBA’s fight against the SDC increase.

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