Wednesday, April 11, 2012

County Commission votes to keep impact fees

Thanks to the County Commissioners who voted unanimously yesterday in support of maintaining the process for setting and updating impact fees.  Maintaining the county's shared responsibility approach for financing the county's infrastructure investments is critical to the future of this county.
A special thanks to BikeWalkLee advocates, members of the Estero Council of Community Leaders, representatives from fire districts, the school district, and parks for attending & speaking at yesterday's County Commission meeting in support of the staff's recommendations on impact fees.  Darla

News-Press, 4/11/12
by Tom Himes
Lee Commission Votes to Keep Impact Fees

Lee County commissioners Tuesday unanimously voted in favor of keeping impact fees, despite the efforts of construction industry representatives who lobbied for a two-year suspension.
The commission did, however, reject proposed raises to the fees collected for parks and emergency medical and fire services. It also approved recommended decreases for school impact fees.

Commissioner Frank Mann rebuffed the contention that impact fees discourage development, after more than a dozen construction industry representatives asked the commission to suspend the fees during public comments.

“We’ve tried to work with the industry, but I think it would be a mistake to conclude that impact fees are the evil burden keeping us from rebounding,” Mann said.

About 25,000 vacant homes in the area, low demand and financing difficulty have led to the slump in home building — and suspending impact fees won’t fix the problem, he said.

“I don’t care if we give $10,000 bonuses,” Mann said. “People aren’t going to be able to build homes and the construction industry is not going to be back where it was before, because there’s no demand and there’s no financing.”

Click here to continue reading article. 

Click here for BikeWalkLee's letter and earlier blog post.

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