The South El Monte City Council has rejected a proposal by the El Monte Elementary School District to charge developers a fee on new residential housing, a plan that might have brought the financially strapped district $100,000 a year. "The developer's fee appears to be premature," said Tom Lamb, director of planning and community development for the city. "They really don't seem to have taken a real hard look at the other options" outlined in a district study of school finances.
The school district had asked the City Council to impose the fee of $2,000 to $3,000 per unit on new residential projects to ease overcrowded classroom conditions. Officials said the district, which serves parts of El Monte, South El Monte and Temple City, is more than 1,000 students over its 9,300 capacity, and both El Monte and Temple City have also been asked to consider such a fee.
Earlier this year, South El Monte imposed its own fee on developers, amounting to 1% of the assessed value of each new residential unit. "We're in dire need of funding ourselves right now. If we're going to raise funding, the city is our primary concern now," Mayor Albert Perez said.