Concurrency and Adequate Public Facilities (APF) Ordinances
What are concurrency and APF ordinances?
Concurrency, adequate public facilities, and similar ordinances can help a community to manage and finance growth on a development-by-development level. They apply to transportation, water/sewer, school, and park facilities. The ordinances set forth legal requirements for a development applicant to assess whether the existing public infrastructure and public services are adequate to support the increased demands generated by the proposed development. If adequate facilities are not in place, the applicant is required to provide the additional facilities needed, wait until adequate facilities are available, or provide some form of alternative mitigation.
The financial agreements formalized under concurrency principles serve to ensure the implementation of a community's growth policies and growth management plans. Impact fees ensure that developers pay for the negative consequences to the environment, by directing the funding to necessary improvements as determined by the jurisdiction or agency.
Who can implement them?
Concurrency ordinances are typically developed and administered by local governments and/or regional public service agencies or authorities such as water and sewer district boards. Transportation ordinances should be coordinated with the state DOT to ensure consistent application of requirements for state and local highways. In any case, the implementing ordinances should define "adequate facilities" via level of service standards or performance standards and ensure that adequate funding will be available, or define a funding approach or strategies, to support expansion of the transportation network and/or other public facilities and services concurrent with new development.
What are the keys to success and potential pitfalls?
Technical Sufficiency: Concurrency ordinances standards require technical knowledge and staff administrative capacity. The process of review and analysis should clearly indicate how the public and private sector will work together to assess and address the impact of development on state and local roads. Professional planning staff or consultants are needed to evaluate the analyses submitted by applicants and work with them to develop mitigation strategies.
Where has this strategy been applied?
Examples in Montana
Examples outside of Montana
How can I get started?
A series of steps are required before implementing an adequate public facility ordinance. First, an evaluation of the existing and planned facilities is required along with defining the performance standards or level of service standards to be achieved and maintained. The ordinance then defines these standards and provides development review procedures and processes to assess the impacts of development along with specifying necessary improvements or mitigation. Monitoring procedures, infrastructure plans (often phased based on anticipated or preferred development patterns), and funding approaches (by the governmental agency and provided as part of development) also are required.
Where can I get more information?