At today’s Board of County Commission meeting, one hundred-plus building industry executives, business owners and workers took time out of their busy work schedules to stand up for the industry’s efforts to keep impact fees at a reduced rate. Led by Lee Building Industry Association’s (BIA) president Victor duPont, the assembly stood to be recognized. It was an impressive sight! In collaboration with the Lee BIA, Team Lee and the Cape Coral Construction Industry Association, we were able to make our statements in favor of keeping impact fees low; for the industry to keep working toward sustainability and in favor of the affordability of housing.
After more than 2 hours of public comment from our members and the public, the Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) moved forward on three key points, setting the stage for the next battle.
The BoCC: ·
Adopted the impact fee study as presented. This is a legal requirement as the study is the basis by which the County can legally adopt any impact fees.
Adopted the rate schedule recommended in the report which advised a road impact fee reduction of 4%, but a significant increase in school impact fees, resulting in an 85% increase overall or about $11,116. That’s more than triple the $2,942 builders currently pay for a single-family home, under the 80 percent reduction ordinance commissioners set in March 2013.
This action allows the report to now go to the advisory committees for review prior to public hearing which will be March 3, 2015, And finally, Commissioner Kiker moved to adopt an increase in the impact fees to 45% of the original rates with an effective date of March 16, 2015.
The effective date is the date the currently reduced rates ordinance will sunset. This rate would result in essentially doubling the fees, but rolling them back to pre-2006 levels. The next steps will be for the proposed impact fee rate increase of 45%, the effective date and the impact fee study to advance to the advisory committees for input and review, then it will be presented for public comment on March 3, 2015 for adoption.
HERE IS WHERE WE NEED SUPPORT:
During the March 3rd BoCC meeting the rate and duration can be altered. Any Commissioner can move to increase the rate to anything over 45% if he chooses. This would require a majority to approve the change. We thank you for your public comments today, letters to the editor, phone calls and emails to commissioners but our work is not done.
What we need you to do:
1. Contact the commissioners in support of their actions today and in support of the increase in impact fees to 45% for a three year period, effective March 16, 2015.
- Chairman Brian Hamman, 533.2226, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Larry Kiker, 533.2223, email@example.com
- John Manning, 533.2224, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Cecil Pendergrass, 533.2227, email@example.com
- Frank Mann, 533.2225, firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Please submit a brief Letter to the Editor of the News-Press at http://np.news-press.com/contact/letter-to-editor thanking the Commissioners for continuing the reduction in impact fees to help create jobs and stabilize our economy.
3. As we saw today our physical attendance has a profound effect on how the decision making process works. Your attendance does matter. Please attend the BoCC meeting on March 3, 2013 at 9:30 AM.
Office Location: Old Lee County Courthouse 2120 Main Street, Fort Myers, Florida 33901
Content provided by Bill Johnson Jr, Executive Director CCCIA