In 1989, the Oregon Legislature authorized local governments
to charge a fee for improvements that need to be made to support
new development in the community. New development brings
added traffic to county roads. In 1991, after considerable public
input, Jackson County decided a system development charge
(SDC) was needed to support countywide road modernization.
Road modernization increases the traffic capacity and safety of
county roads by adding turn and travel lanes, widening shoulders
as well as installing traffic signals.
COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why do we need a system development charge?
Traffic growth from new development in Jackson County has
outpaced the funds that are available to improve roads. The
existing county road network is predominantly a two-lane road
system that was not designed to handle the volume of traffic that
new development imposes. SDC’s have been implemented to
obtain financial support from developments which are
contributing to the need for increased roadway capacity. Without
an SDC program, Jackson County would not have sufficient
resources with which to address increased traffic and congestion
being created by new development.
I live on a county (or private road). Will my SDC be used
to improve the road in front of my house?
Not necessarily. By ordinance, SDC's are used to fund
capacity-increasing projects along Jackson County's network of
arterial and collector roads. Project selection is based on many factors which can include congestion and accident history. Local access roads, dedicated ways, private
roads, and maintenance projects are not eligible for SDC’s.
Are there other resources to pay for road work?
Yes, but these resources are not large enough to increase road
capacity to keep up with new development. Jackson County
receives road maintenance money from the State of Oregon
(vehicle registration fees, fuel taxes, and weight-mile taxes), as
well as a portion of the timber harvest receipts from U.S. Forest
Service land. The receipts from the U.S. Forest Service are
subject to allowable timber harvest, and have dropped drastically from historic levels.
SDC's are helping to stabilize funding for road modernization
without relying on property taxes.
Why should new development be the ones to pay SDC's?
It is Jackson County's belief that new development should pay
a fair share of the cost associated with increasing road capacity
since new development is accelerating the need for capacity
improvements. SDC's are dedicated exclusively to adding
capacity to the existing network of arterial and collector roads.
How often will SDC's be levied?
A system development charge is a one-time fee that must be
paid prior to the issuance of building permits.
Is everyone's SDC the same?
No. Each SDC is tailored to the type of development and the
estimated traffic it will generate. Trip generation rates used in the
SDC methodology are from the Trip Generation Manual,
published by the Institute of Transportation Engineers.
How do I determine what my SDC will be?
When you take your construction plans to Jackson County
Development Services to get a building permit, county staff will
calculate the SDC. We've provided a PDF below which shows the Trip Generation and Fee Sheet currently being used. You can also call Jackson County Roads (541) 774-8184 or Development Services (541) 774-6900
to get worksheets and additional information.
When must I pay the SDC?
You must arrange payment by cash, check, or installment
payments before your building permit will be issued. You pay
the SDC at Development Services located at the Courthouse, 10
S. Oakdale in Medford. Their phone number is (541) 774-6900.
Do I have to pay an SDC to both the City and the County?
No. If your development lies within an incorporated city, you
are not subject to Jackson County's SDC program.