Minnesota District Court Finds “Major Roadway Assessment Fee” Unlawful


A Washington County District Court Judge has found the City of Woodbury’s “Major Roadway Assessment Fee” – a fee the city has charged to developers for years to purportedly fund potential future off-site roadway infrastructure improvements  “unlawful and unenforceable.” Judge Richard C. Illka made his decision after considering arguments from legal representatives for both the developer and the city. 

The challenge to the city’s roadway fee was brought by Martin Harstad, the owner and developer of residential property located in Woodbury. Harstad is represented by Larkin Hoffman attorneys Peter Coyle and Rob Stefonowicz.

The city sought to collect a $1.3M fee from Harstad as a condition of supporting his application for a proposed 183-home residential development known as “Bailey Park.” The fee sought by the city was over and above substantial costs and expenses to be borne by Harstad for the construction of roadway and infrastructure needs directly related to the Bailey Park development. In striking down the fee, the district court concluded that the fee is an “impact fee” that lacks statutory authority under Minnesota law.

Larkin Hoffman attorney Stefonowicz said “Mr. Harstad had long contended that the city’s fee was illegal and created an unfair and improper financial burden on his property. We are pleased that the district court agreed that the fee was illegal and unenforceable.” 

View a full copy of the order by clicking here. The decision was reported in Minnesota Lawyer's Bar Buzz section on Nov. 23.