The San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved an agreement with the San Diego Association of Governments which will allow SANDAG to use up to $13 million of Transportation Impact Fee (TIF) revenue for the widening of State Route 76.
The supervisors’ 5-0 vote May 15 will provide up to $5 million in TIF funds for the widening of Highway 76 between South Mission Road and Interstate 15 and up to $8 million for improvements to the interchange of Highway 76 and I-15.
In April 2005, the county supervisors adopted a TIF ordinance in order to comply with state law and provide funding for the construction of transportation facilities needed to support the increased traffic generated by new development. The TIF is actually an option rather than a requirement; developers may still perform an individual cumulative impact traffic study and make the appropriate mitigation. The TIF ordinance was expected to help small developers who could address their projects’ impacts easier with a single check rather than with a comprehensive cumulative impact study. In 2008, the TIF was modified to reflect more accurate regional needs. Developers are not required to mitigate for existing roadway deficiencies, but the TIF is intended to pay for road impacts of future development and the update of the general plan’s Circulation Element in August 2011 altered future road improvement costs and thus a development’s share of the costs and in October 2012 a revision of the TIF charges was approved.
The fees for each community include both local and regional road and freeway ramp impacts. The TIF ordinance allows funds collected for state routes or freeway ramps to be made available to the California Department of Transportation or SANDAG. SANDAG administers the financing for state highway improvements while Caltrans constructs, manages, and maintains state route facilities.
The project to widen State Route 76 between South Mission Road and Interstate 15 from two to four lanes while constructing ramp improvements at Highway 76 and Interstate 15 has a total cost estimate of $201.5 million. Local funding from TIF payments and Indian casino agreements will account for $30 million of that funding. The local TransNet half-cent sales tax will account for an additional $51.4 million, Proposition 1B revenue (Proposition 1B was approved by the state’s voters in the November 2006 election and provided $2 billion for California’s local streets and roads) will fund $29.4 million, and $90.7 million will be provided by federal programs.
Payments based on available north region account balances and the pace of revenue collection will be made to SANDAG on a quarterly basis. The county will also use TIF payments to reimburse SANDAG after the Highway 76 improvements have been completed. The improved interchange is expected to open to traffic in August 2013 while the widened portion between South Mission Road and Old Highway 395 has a completion estimate of December 2015. The agreement stipulates a December 31, 2050, termination date should the full reimbursement amount not be paid earlier.