The Westbrook City Council will give impact fees another chance.

The idea is popular among those concerned about the number of new housing units being built in Westbrook. City officials spent nearly one year developing formulas for school and sewer impact fees, which are designed to pay for new capacity needed as a result of a development. Under the system proposed, for example, the owner of a new three-bedroom house would need to pay a $3,245 school impact fee to offset the future costs of adding children to local classrooms.

But the City Council seemed to kill the idea two weeks ago. At the regular meeting Aug. 7, a majority of the councilors voted against new ordinances for school and sewer impact fees. They expressed concerns that added costs would deter families and businesses from coming to Westbrook.

“I do not want to be a deterrent to people moving into the city,” Councilor Lynda Adams said at the time.

Adams, however, made a motion during the City Council’s next meeting, on Monday, to reconsider the impact fee ordinances. She said more residents should have the chance to weigh in on the issue. Five people spoke at the Aug. 7 meeting, and four asked the council to nix the impact fees. But dozens of people had turned out last year for public meetings about residential development, and many wanted the city to enact a system for collecting impact fees.

“I feel like there are some people that wanted to be heard that they weren’t able to be heard,” Adams said.

The motion passed 4-1. Councilor Ann Peoples was the only no vote, and Councilors Anna Turcotte and Brendan Rielly were absent.

The two proposals will be on the Sept. 11 agenda for first reading. If approved, they will advance to the Oct. 2 agenda for a public hearing and final vote.

Megan Doyle can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: megan_e_doyle

filed under: