Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Higher Impact Fees Expected | Fees Could Go Up 50 Percent for Some Houses

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Higher Impact Fees Expected | Fees Could Go Up 50 Percent for Some Houses

Article excerpt

SARASOTA COUNTY

Sarasota County got its first glimpse Wednesday at the recommended rate changes for seven of its nine impact fees charged to developers of commercial and residential properties.

Not surprisingly, fees will rise almost across the board if county commissioners adopt the updated schedule, which won't happen until spring 2016 at the earliest.

It's the first time in nearly a decade the county has reviewed the impact fees charged for parks, libraries, fire services, emergency management, law enforcement, justice and general government. Not included in the study were impact fees for schools or transportation, which are being handled separately.

State law requires fees be based on the most recent data, which takes into account land and construction costs, population, housing unit counts, average household size, and other factors -- much of which has changed since the previous adjustment in 2007.

"Clearly you're due for an update," said Clancy Mullen, vice president of the Austin, Texas-based Duncan Associates, which conducted the review.

Currently, construction of a 1,500 square-foot, single-family home generates $3,904 from the seven impact fees combined. A home twice that size generates $4,925. A commercial structure generates $2,174 for every 1,000 square feet.

If the updated fees are adopted at 100 percent of the recommendation, both the 1,500-square-foot home and the 3,000- square-foot home would generate the same amount: $5,956. That's because the old fee schedule had nine categories of single-family dwellings, while the new schedule has three.

The commercial structure, meanwhile, would generate $3,460 for every 1,000 square feet.

Increased costs stem from factors including a higher building- cost calculation and the county's ever-expanding list of public assets to maintain.

The fees offset the strain on public infrastructure caused by growth, which introduces additional residents, shoppers, workers and others into a community. …

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