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Phased impact fees get a look

On Thursday, a majority of county commissioners signaled a desire to phase in the toughest parts of the new impact fees.

On Friday, government officials studied what implications such a policy move would have.

During the Thursday workshop, commissioners Vicki Phillips and Joyce Valentino seemed intent on adopting new fees without delay, though they are open to studying phasing plans.

Commissioners Gary Bartell, Dennis Damato and John Thrumston said phasing of the two big-ticket items - fees for public schools and transportation - would be best.

A few ideas were tossed about. Bartell's idea - charge only 50 percent of the new fees for schools and transportation for the first six months of the new schedule- got the most discussion.

The commission will hold a final hearing Jan. 25 and vote on what the new fees should be and how they should be imposed.

Chuck Dixon, the school district's director of planning and growth management, said Bartell's phasing proposal wouldn't hurt the district's facility funding plan too badly.

"Because the (residential construction) market has slowed down, it probably would not be detrimental to have it phased,'' he said.

Dixon noted that, under Bartell's plan, the new fees would be fully implemented by January 2008.

The school district's stand all along has been that it wanted equal treatment. It basically told commissioners: Give the schools whatever you give the other impact fee areas, such as parks, fire and emergency medical services.

"We would have preferred to have everything treated equally in terms of fairness, but I understand where they're coming from with the phasing,'' Dixon said.

If adopted, Bartell's plan would prevent the county from collecting about $10-million in transportation and schools fees, the county's consultant said Thursday.

Dixon, citing a slowdown in local residential development, said that estimate might be high. However, he had not yet calculated how much money it would cost the school district if the phasing plan is adopted.

As for transportation, county officials said they could re-examine the five-year capital improvements program. With less revenue, one or more projects might be pushed back a bit.

One possibility for that is Grover Cleveland Boulevard.

Builders pay impact fees to help defray the costs of growth, because occupants of new buildings and homes put a strain on public services. The County Commission hired a consultant to examine the current fees and recommend new levels.

There are eight impact fee categories: transportation, public schools, public buildings, parks and recreation, fire, library, law enforcement and emergency medical services. Only residential projects are assessed the schools, library and parks fees.


Impact fee increases

The County Commission is considering a significant boost in impact fees. Three of the five commissioners want to phase in the new fees for the two biggest areas: transportation and public schools. Only residential projects pay the schools fee.


Land use Current PDRB+ County consultant

Home $3,612 $3,979 $9,705

Office* $4,700 $5,184 $12,645

Retail* $4,786 $5,183 $12,643

Fast food* $41,556 $49,296 $120,234

Bank* $22,189 $21,976 $53,599


Land use Current PDRB County consultant

Home $1,917 $2,067 $4,218

Multifamily* $1,634 $3,045 $6,215

Mobile home* $2,200 $3,231 $6,594

+ PDRB is short for the county's Planning and Development Review Board, which advises the County Commission.

* Denotes per 1,000 square feet

Sources: County and consultant documents