Regional Transportation Mitigation Fee (RTMF)

Regional Transportation Mitigation Fee (RTMF) Reports

Regional Transportation Mitigation Fee Update
RTMF 2016 Nexus Study Update Final - Parsons Brinckerhoff, September 2016
This Nexus Study report presents the evaluation of population and employment growth, future transportation needs and the availability of traditional transportation funding sources to establish updated RTMF fee levels and program revenue collection targets.

RTMF 2016 Administrative Plan Final - Parsons Brinckerhoff, October 2016
Guidelines and policies for implementation and administration of the Regional Transportation Mitigation Fee Program. RTMF Program funds are used for capital expenditures, including engineering and design costs, environmental documentation, right-of-way acquisition, construction, construction management and administrative costs.

This Annual Report is provided to assist Grass Valley, Nevada City and Nevada County in complying with the Government Code Section 66006 that requires each local agency that adopts mitigation fees provide an annual report and schedule a public meeting regarding that report.  The purpose of the RTMF Program is to finance improvements to the regional network of streets and roads that are needed to mitigate the impact of increased traffic that will result from new development.  The fee program was adopted by the City of Grass Valley, Nevada City and Nevada County and is administered by the Nevada County Transportation Commission through agreements with each agency.
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The Western Nevada County Regional Transportation Mitigation Fee (RTMF) program was established in 2001 through a partnership of Nevada County, Nevada City, Grass Valley, and the NCTC.  The RTMF program has since collected development impact fees to help fund construction of the regional system of roads, streets, and highways needed to accommodate growth in western Nevada County.  Nevada County also adopted its Local Traffic Mitigation Fee (LTMF) program to mitigate development impacts on local county roads and Grass Valley adopted the Grass Valley Traffic Impact Fee (GVTIF) to mitigate development impacts on city streets.  Since the update of these three programs in 2008, changes in demographic and economic assumptions, which provide the underlying basis for these programs, have necessitated the review and update of all three programs to reaffirm the nexus between projected development and needed transportation system improvements.

The consulting firm, Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB), was retained to prepare updates of all three programs.  At the end of June 2015, PB completed its review of the NCTC demographic and traffic model assumptions and a review of the RTMF network of streets and roads.  During their review, PB found some intersections and road segments where data appeared to be missing, old, or inaccurate, and they conducted additional traffic counts at those locations to insure the accuracy of the data set.  PB reviewed the future deficiencies and network improvement projects.  

    The recent recession and structural changes in California's economy have led the state to lower its expectations of future population growth.  Specifically, Caltrans' forecast for population growth in the next 20 years in western Nevada County was reduced 62% compared to the forecast used in the previous RTMF Nexus Report.  The new forecasts for traffic growth are on the average 20% lower than the previous forecasts.  The lower forecasts for growth in traffic will have two effects:
    • Reduced traffic growth will have reduced impacts on the transportation system and therefore trigger the need for roadway improvements at fewer sites.  Some projects that were considered necessary under previous growth assumptions are no longer needed.
    • In places where there are existing deficiencies that would be impacted by future growth, having less growth means that new development will be financially responsible for a smaller share of needed improvements, and existing traffic will consequently be responsible for a larger share.
    These two effects lowered the RTMF charge per unit of new development.  The current analysis shows that the previous Nexus Report forecast Level of Service (LOS) deficiencies at 20 locations.  With the reduced forecast for growth it now appears that the current roadway configuration should provide an acceptable LOS for the foreseeable future in 12 of the 20 locations previously identified as having future LOS deficiencies.

    The scaling back of growth forecast in turn caused a scaling back of the Capital Improvement Program, or at least the portion receiving funding from the RTMF.  Fees decreased due to the reduction in expected project costs, which is a function both of the savings from construction of the Dorsey Drive Interchange and the savings from projects no longer needed with lower forecasts of growth.