Moving Forward Again! Permitting Fees for Projects

August 3, 2012

The AZ Daily Star ran a guest editorial August 2, 2012 pointing out that housing is starting to revive after our long recession.  See,  Nationally, new housing starts are up 22% and in Pima County permits for new housing have increased by 29%.

We are seeing this as well with new developments proposed Downtown.  Downtown Tucson Partnership is inventorying current developments and upcoming developments — stay tuned for this information that will allow us to track progress Downtown and along the streetcar corridor.

Some of us may be a little rusty from these slow years, so we have put together some information about permitting and impact fees for projects in the City of Tucson.

A number of factors influence the permitting and impact fees.  Commercial properties are charged different fees than residential properties, and various items have different fees attached with them (sign fees, etc.).  If you need to change the zoning, that incurs fees.
  • Fee Waivers:  Depending on where the development is located, fee waivers might be available. Step one should be to check the property address with the PRO system to see what zone it is in and whether a waiver is available:
  • Outlines of Fees Charged:  Assuming there are no fee waivers, the City of Tucson Planning & Development Services department has an outline of its fees here:  The checklist for commercial projects is here:  The County has fees as well.  There schedule is here:
  • This .pdf has the complete fee schedule which you can match to your project: (pages 16-44 detail the various fees associated with development projects).
  • Generally speaking, the fees you would be looking at are:
  • city impact fees/permits
  • county sewer fees
  • charges related to electric needs
  • City water meter
  • telephony charges
  • sewer design
  • sewer stub
  • Impact Fee Deferral Option:  The City adopted a city-wide impact fee deferral program, which basically allows you to deposit the impact fees in an interest-bearing account at the start of the project and defer paying them until you receive your C of O.  At that point, you agree to split the interest between you and the City.  Depending on the total impact fees involved, this could be a somewhat significant amount. The City of Tucson’s website about impact fees is here and contains a link to the memorandum regarding the details of the program:
  • Infill Incentive District:  There is also the Infill Incentive District throughout most of Downtown which is a flexible program basically allowing you to propose fee waivers/decreases.  The most persuasive arguments would probably involve the number of jobs created by the project (construction + FTEs), revenue generated (construction material sales taxes + sales/use taxes flowing from the finished project), and other benefits to the community.  You can find the memorandum adopted by the City as well as a map of the District here:

Contact Us!

Please call us if we can help you with your Downtown project!  520-837-6508 or email




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