Western Nevada County has 3 independent Park and Recreation Districts outside of the Grass Valley and Nevada City areas:
Since the Great Recession in 2008, many jurisdictions are fiscally challenged to secure adequate and sustained funding for park and recreation programs and operations. EPS will be conducting a Western Nevada County Park District Consolidation/Reorganization Feasibility Study to determine if consolidation or reorganization could be advantageous for parks and recreation opportunities to local residents.
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Nevada County is partnering with Economic Planning Systems, Inc. (EPS) to update the County's Park Facility Impact Fee and to conduct a Western Nevada County Parks District Consolidation Feasibility Study. EPS is experienced in resolving complex financing issues; providing cutting-edge technical solutions; and presenting clear, understandable public information. Having completed scores of development impact fee programs for municipal agencies throughout California, EPS is familiar with the process to implement and update fee programs. Given previous experience, EPS is adept at proactively identifying special issues as they relate to park and recreation development mitigation and impact fees. For more information on EPS, please visit their website at https://www.epsys.com.
The County collects two types of fees for parks and recreation (AB1600 fees & Quimby fees) on new development to mitigate its impact on the need for new park facilities - the more people, the more parks needed. The fees are then provided to five Recreation Benefit Zones across Western Nevada County. EPS is conducting a Nexus Study to update the fees that were last updated in 1997. EPS's objective is to identify what the maximum allowable fee that the County can charge; however, the Nevada County Board of Supervisors is responsible for establishing the fee amount and can choose any fee amount up to the maximum allowable fee determined by the Nexus Study.
A Development impact fee is paid by new development to the local government to fund infrastructure and public facilities needed to accommodate new development. As a community adds new residents and employees, those new residents and employees place demands on infrastructure and facilities, such as roads, sewer systems, police and fire stations, and of course, parks and recreation facilities. Development impact fees are a way for the local government to require new development projects to pay for the new infrastructure and public facilities that new residents and employees need.
A development impact fee funds new facilities and infrastructure needed to serve new development projects. If existing facilities are sufficiently sized to accommodate new development, new development can be required to pay for its “fair share” of that existing facility.
A development impact fee may not be charged to new development to rectify existing infrastructure or public facility deficiencies. If infrastructure or facilities are inadequate to serve the local government’s current resident and employee base, the local government must find alternative sources of funds to resolve those issues.
The County does not provide recreation and park services. Park and recreation services in Nevada County are currently provided by several individual park and recreation districts. Residents near Nevada City and Grass Valley don’t have a specific park service provider, and instead utilize City park and recreation facilities. In this revenue constrained environment, the County is interested in understanding whether there are more efficient ways to provide park and recreation services and deliver the best services possible to the community.
The feasibility study will evaluate the potential financial and service provision outcomes of District consolidation. Recommendations regarding consolidation will be based on the ability of a consolidated district to provide improved or equal services more efficiently. The analysis will evaluate that whether services would be more efficiently provided if all Western County Districts consolidate, if some consolidate, or if consolidation does not transpire.
he Nevada County Board of Supervisors will consider the results of the Park Facility Impact Fee Study and District Consolidation Study and will determine the preferred course of action. The County may choose to implement park facility impact fees at the levels justified by EPS’s Nexus Study, or they may decide to implement fees at a lower level than justified by the Study. In no circumstance may the County implement fees higher than justified by the Nexus Study. Any decisions regarding potential District consolidation falls under the jurisdiction of the Nevada County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO).