Developer sues Delaware, says city fee violates Fair Housing Act

Columbus Business First

FILE — (AP Photo/Andrew Welsh-Huggins)

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A developer is suing the city of Delaware, saying its sewer and water fees limit opportunities for affordable housing projects and protect “the nearly all-white status quo.”

Seattle House LLC, an affiliate of Metro Development LLC, filed the suit in the U.S. District Court saying the city’s impact fees, which are charged to defray costs of a new development using sewer and water utilities, are discriminatory.

The developer, part of Westerville-based DRK & Co, recently constructed the 240-unit Seattle House apartment development, which consists of 60 one-bedroom apartments and 180 two-bedroom apartments. The city charged the developer $1.9 million in impact fees, which the developer says overestimated the site’s actual utility use by $1.2 million.

In the suit, which you can view here, the developer says the city’s impact fees violate the Fair Housing Act because they drive up the costs of development and limit the availability of affordable housing, which in turn has “a disproportionate effect on racial minorities.”

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