January 16, 2018
By: Tara L. Tedrow
On January 9, 2018, the Seminole County Board of County Commissioners (“the County”), by a 4-1 vote, passed an ordinance increasing school impact fees for all types of residential development in the County. The new, increased impact fees are shown in the table below along with the former rates:
|Residential Land Use||Old Impact Fee||New Impact Fee|
|Single Family||$5,000 per dwelling unit||$9,000 per dwelling unit|
|Townhome/Condo/Duplex||$2,450 per dwelling unit||$5,000 per dwelling unit|
|Under 850 square feet (sf)||$2,100 per dwelling unit||$4,900 per dwelling unit|
|851 sf to 1000 sf||$2,100 per dwelling unit||$7,100 per dwelling unit|
|1001 sf or more||$2,100 per dwelling unit||$8,700 per dwelling unit|
|Mobile Homes||$1,924 per dwelling unit||$4,700 per dwelling unit|
The effective date of the new ordinance, including the imposition of the higher school impact fee rates to new development is April 9, 2018 (90 days from the date the ordinance was passed). However, the ordinance provides that certain written vested rights agreements entered into before the effective date of the ordinance between the property owner and the County, Seminole County School Board or governing municipality may permit such property to be subject only to the former, lower school impact fee rates. Following the effective date of such approved vested rights agreement, the owner would have one year to obtain building permits utilizing the impact fee rates in the written agreement.
In addition to increasing the impact fee rates, the new ordinance revamps the alternative school impact fee procedures, adding, among other changes, the need for a developer to demonstrate that the methodology establishing an alternative student generate rate does not violate Florida’s constitutional requirement of free public schools. Moreover, a specific impact fee exemption for senior housing (aged 55 and up) developments was also included in this ordinance.