TIF Program Frequently Asked Questions

1. QUESTION: What is Measure Y and why do I have to pay TIF fees?

ANSWER:  This is really two related, but separate questions. Measure Y was an item passed by the voters of El Dorado County in November, 1998. The measure specified several new General Plan policies related to traffic impact mitigation. The Board of Supervisors incorporated the new policies into the County’s General Plan when they adopted it in 2004. Those policies are listed as Policy TC-Xa. In November, 2008 the voters approved a new version of Measure Y (also listed as Measure Y on the ballot) that modified some of the policies. The Board of Supervisors also approved a companion General Plan Amendment revising several related policies.

The Board of Supervisors adopted the original Traffic Impact Mitigation Fee, now the Traffic Impact Fee (TIF) Program, for the “West Slope” of the County in 1991. Over time they have modified the program with major updates happening in 1996, 2000, 2006, 2012, 2016 and 2020. The fees set by the Board have been tied to the cost of building the needed road improvements to deal with future growth and the amount of expected growth during a defined time period (currently based on 20 years of growth). One of the policies included in the original Measure Y included a requirement that new development fully pay for the needed road improvements to handle the traffic from the new development.

2. QUESTION: I don’t use any County roads. So why do I have to pay TIF fees?

ANSWER:  TIF fees paid by you cover not only your direct use of County roads, but also indirect uses generated by you, for example, delivery services such as the U.S. Postal Service in delivering your mail, or the newspaper carrier in delivering your paper. Most commercial areas where there are gas stations, grocery stores, hardware stores, etc., are either on County roads, or are served by County roads, so if you go shopping, or have someone shop for you, you/they are likely driving on County roads, and/or Highway 50 which is also being upgraded in certain areas out of TIF funds. Getting onto Highway 50 requires using County roads, unless you are in the City of Placerville. Also, any visitors or repair people coming to your home are likely coming via County roads and/or Highway 50.

3. QUESTION: My parcel is zoned TPZ (Timberland Preserve Zone) and I have applied for a special use permit to add a residence. I access my property on a Forest Service Road. Do I have to pay TIF fees?

ANSWER:  Yes. See the answer to Question 2, above.

4. QUESTION: What does the TIF Program fee money pay for exactly?

ANSWER:  The project list that defines the TIF Program is included in the current Resolution as “Exhibit B”.  Click here for the latest Resolution(PDF, 10MB)

Generally, the TIF program includes major improvements such as

  • Interchanges from Ponderosa Road/South Shingle west to the County line, and the El Dorado Road interchange;
  • Improvements to the County’s main arterial roads (e.g., Missouri Flat Road, Green Valley Road, Latrobe Road, Cameron Park Drive, Country Club Drive Extension, and Diamond Springs Parkway);
  • Intersection improvements;
  • Transit requirements (e.g., Park ‘n Ride Improvements, purchase of additional buses);
  • Safety improvements; and
  • Bridge improvements (e.g., Indian Creek at Green Valley Road).

5. QUESTION: How do I change the fee zone that I’m in?

ANSWER:  The fee zone boundaries were set by the Board of Supervisors based on the General Plan’s Traffic Analysis Zone (TAZ) structure. TAZs are geographic polygons used to organize land use data for traffic modeling. The TAZs are defined by natural and man-made borders such as property lines, roads, waterways, and topography and typically represent areas of homogenous travel behavior. Since individual lots can’t be relocated to a different TAZ (i.e., you can’t move a lot from Pollock Pines to Pleasant Valley), there is no way to put a property into a different fee zone.

In some rare cases, where a property borders a fee zone boundary, there may be the opportunity to make a map correction if the property was incorrectly shown to be in the wrong fee zone.

6. QUESTION: How do I get my fees lowered?

ANSWER:  Generally, you cannot get your fees lowered because the fees are set by the Board of Supervisors typically once per year by resolution. However, there may be ways to reduce your fee requirements. For example
  • “Affordable housing” projects may be eligible for fee offsets;
  • You may be able to change your type of use to a lower fee category;
  • You may qualify for temporary fee deferral depending on the type of project.
See the Traffic Impact Fee Administrative Manual for further information.

7. QUESTION: How do I find out which fee zone I’m in?

ANSWER:  Refer to the TIF Zone Map located on the TIF Program webpage or contact the DOT Permits desk at (530) 621-5941 with either your Assessor’s Parcel Number (APN) or street address.  

8. QUESTION: Where can I get more information?

ANSWER: Contact the Permits desk at (530) 621-5941.