LANCASTER – Antelope Valley Union High School District trustees have approved a 5 percent increase in developer fees to help pay for classroom construction. The levy paid by home builders goes up from $1.49 to $1.57 per square foot of floor space, an increase that would bring the fees on a typical 2,600-square-foot new home to $4,082. “It’s formulaic. Every year a study is conducted and a fee is calculated based on the size of homes being built and the yield of kids coming out of the homes,” Deputy Superintendent Jeff Foster said. The board approved the fee hike at last Wednesday’s meeting. No developers showed up to comment or object. The fee study projected that 11,000 new homes will be built in the next five years, with the average-size home at 2,600 square feet, said Larry Freise, coordinator of attendance and special projects. The homes will each generate .339 high school-age students, or the equivalent of one student for every three new houses, Freise said. “We are overcrowded as it is. To try to build enough new schools in that time is a crunch. It’s definitely a huge challenge,” Freise said. Trustee Al Beattie said state law determines how much developer fees can be increased but said the formula doesn’t reflect recent increases in construction costs for building schools. “When somebody is building 1,500 homes, those fees are not enough to serve 1,500 kids,” Beattie said. The state has set $2.24 per square foot as the standard residential developer fee for financing school construction, but in the Antelope Valley that fee must be shared among more than one school district. In the Los Angeles County portion of the Antelope Valley, developer-fee revenue is divided between the Antelope Valley Union High School District and the individual elementary school districts within the high school district boundaries. Districts may charge more than the standard fee if certain conditions are met, such as having passed a school construction bond measure in the past four years and having 20 percent or more of classes in portable buildings. Aside from the high school district, other districts charging more than the standard rate are Eastside Union School District at $2.05; Lancaster School District, $2.18; Palmdale School District, $2.86; and Westside Union School District, $2.40. In Kern County, the Southern Kern Unified School District charges $2.92 a square foot. Karen Maeshiro, (661) 267-5744 [email protected] AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!