Buyers of newly built homes in Fresno are on the hook for a fee of more than $4,000 to ensure they have enough water coming to their residences. But a trio of major home builders is challenging the city’s fees in court, contending they’re too high, are unfair and amount to a tax that violates state law.
The “water capacity fee,” which adds up to $4,246 for a typical new single-family home with a one-inch connection to a water meter, was approved in April on a 5-1 City Council vote following a contentious public hearing at which developers voiced strong objections. Many of those concerns found their way into the litigation now working its way toward a March trial date in Fresno County Superior Court.
Fresno City Council members say they’ve received complaints for years from residents and businesses about recycling centers operating from shipping containers in shopping center parking lots, providing a few cents in cash for each can or bottle that people bring in for redemption.
On Thursday, the council approved a new ordinance to seriously restrict how and where such recyclers – called CRV (California Redemption Value) recycling centers – can operate. The 7-0 vote is the first step toward final approval, most likely in two weeks. The law, sponsored by Councilmen Paul Caprioglio and Oliver Baines, would take effect 30 days after a final vote.
Once that happens, the law will effectively put 16 of Fresno’s 22 CRV recycling centers out of business within six months to a year. The centers are where people can get back the nickel that grocers charge for every can or bottle of soft drink, beer or other beverages that carries a California Redemption Value stamp.