Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

County Approves Impact Fees; Officials Deny Request to Delay Start

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

County Approves Impact Fees; Officials Deny Request to Delay Start

Article excerpt

Byline: R. Michael Anderson, Clay County Line staff writer

Soon the price of homes will go up in Clay County to help expand the public school system to meet the increasing demands of a growing population.

County commissioners, following through with a promise they made months ago, enacted an ordinance Tuesday imposing school impact fees on new housing developments -- from a mobile home on a vacant lot to hundreds of homes in a new subdivision.

Fees will range from $920 for every multi-family unit to $2,000 for single-family houses. A levy of $1,660 will be assessed for mobile homes.

The money, estimated at about $50 million to $68 million during the next two decades, will be spent on new school construction and improvements and new computers. Developers and builders have said the fees will all be passed along to new home buyers.

Despite a plea by builders to postpone implementation of the fee until July, commissioners made the effective date May 1. They also rejected a request to push back when the fee would be collected. The ordinance states the fee is due when a residential building permit is issued.

Builders wanted to be able to pay the fee after homes are built and a certificate of occupancy is requested.

However, to make such changes would have required a postponement of final action on the impact fee ordinance, which already has gone through two public hearings and has been a matter of discussion by the commission since fall.

"This is not coming as a surprise to anyone," said Commissioner Patrick McGovern. "It is incumbent on us to do something today -- adopt what is before us. I move for adoption of the ordinance."

Commissioner George Bush seconded the motion, but before a vote was taken Commissioner Glenn Lassiter asked the county attorney if the ordinance contained a "hardship exemption" for people with medical disabilities. …

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