As development booms in West Whiteland Township, officials have made permanent a fee developers must pay to offset increased traffic.
Taking advantage of a 25-year-old state law, the township board of supervisors voted Tuesday night to implement the fee to pay for road work such as new turn lanes and intersection improvements.
With about 18,350 residents, West Whiteland is the fourth-most-populated municipality in Chester County, according to 2013 census data.
West Whiteland has collected contributions from developers in the past, but the supervisors decided to use a formal process for charging set fees after studying development trends.
At least 100 other towns collect similar fees under a 1990 amendment to the Municipalities Planning Code, according to the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors.
West Whiteland officials are planning for the township's future needs as development continues, said Mimi Gleason, township manager.
"Traffic is always an issue in Chester County when you have new development," she said. "The township is making sure the developers will pay for their fair share of any traffic impacts."
Using a state-regulated calculation, fees will be determined by how much more local traffic will be generated by the new residents of the developments during peak driving hours.
Each municipality sets its own fee based on the costs of capital projects within its borders.