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SG-W:/ Special assessment districts vs development impact fees

Here in Scio, the board is considering a special assessment district for
businesses (only, I presume) near the Zeeb/Jackson/I-94 interchange to help
pay for improvements to the intersection needed because of the added traffic
in the area.  My guess is that the new Meijer that will be going up is the
primary reason for this.  They also have a special assessment district for
the three truck stops at the Baker Rd/I-94 intersection due to the need for
improvements to the interchange there.

My question is, why is this legal when development impact fees are not
legal?  Isn't this "special assessment district" another way of saying a
"development impact fee"?

Am I missing an important difference between the two?

Would it be possible to create a special assessment district for a
residential development?  Could a township do this proactively to slow down
the development of new subdivisions?

Anyone know the difference?

Jeff Surfus

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