Letter: Impact fees punish businesses



The impact fee proposed against Chuck’s Produce is a rip off. Since the company’s current local store is in east Vancouver and the proposed second store is in the northwest county, it would save many miles of driving for many of their customers. Plus the proposed store would draw from existing grocery stores in that same area. That’s not more traffic, just realigning.

I have two commercial buildings in old town Battle Ground. An unemployed woman trying to create a job for herself in dog grooming called me on one of the spaces. It was too big and expensive, so we decided to make her a smaller space in my other building that she could afford. The city planning department decided I needed to pay them $9,526 in impact fees to rent the space to her for $500 gross per month. I would not live long enough to see a return on my investment.

These governmental agencies have so institutionalized the money grab that they have stopped thinking rationally, and so now we have so much in high costs and unemployment. I am of a mind to test these rip-offs all the way to the Supreme Court; maybe Chuck’s Produce will join me.

Chuck E. Mason