LANCASTER – Reflecting the housing boom and student enrollment growth, two school districts have approved double-digit increases in developer fees to help pay for classroom construction. The levy paid by home builders in the Lancaster School District has gone up 24.7 percent, to $2.72 per square foot of floor space, and Southern Kern Unified School District has increased fees 16 percent, to $3.39 per square foot. “We study it every year. It just depends on the cost of construction versus the number of kids coming out of new houses,” Lancaster Superintendent Steve Gocke said. “In order to build schools, it’s an index that puts it at what costs are.” The boards of both school districts approved the fee hikes at meetings this past week. The Antelope Valley Union High School District board approved a 5 percent hike at its Nov. 9 meeting to brings its developer fees to $1.57 per square foot. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals “The developer fees went up according to the amount of portable buildings we have and the growth rate,” Southern Kern Superintendent Rod Van Norman said. Lancaster’s fee study indicated that the average home in the district is 2,200 square feet in size, resulting in fees of $5,984 per house. Gocke said permits have been pulled and construction begun on about 1,800 homes in the district. The study said one elementary or middle-school student will come from every two houses, Gocke said. The Southern Kern study projected that 1,250 homes would be built by the end of 2009, generating about 740 students and increasing the district’s enrollment from more than 3,300 to more than 4,000, records show. The average-size home in Rosamond is 1,775 square feet, the report said. The higher fee hike brings the levy on a new home to $6,017 per house. 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 by 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, Lancaster and Southern Kern districts, other districts charging more than the standard rate are Eastside Union School District at $2.05; Palmdale School District, $2.86; and Westside Union School District, $2.40. Karen Maeshiro, (661) 267-5744 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!