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OCPS School Impact Fee Advisory Committee Makes Final Recommendations

August 24, 2020

By: Tara Tedrow & McGregor Love

On August 14, 2020, the Orange County Public Schools ("OCPS") School Impact Fee Study Advisory Committee ("the Committee") held its final meeting. The Committee, which first convened in October 2018, was tasked with making recommendations to OCPS and to Orange County on potential adjustments to school impact fees based on the Committee’s review of the updated School Impact Fee Studies conducted by Tindale Oliver. Lowndes Shareholder Tara Tedrow was appointed by the Greater Orlando Builders Association to serve on the Committee.

A school impact fee is a one-time capital charge levied against new development to fund school capacity consumed by new growth. School impact fees are typically assessed based on specific student generation rates ("SGR"), or students per housing unit, for each type of residential land use, including single family, townhouse, multi-family and mobile homes.

Orange County’s school impact fee schedule was last updated in 2016. Based on numerous meetings and an in-depth review of information presented, the Committee made the following recommendations:

  • A significantly lower rate should be charged for multi-family residential buildings considered “high-rise.”
  • Tiered fee rates should be applied across all residential categories, as shown below.
  • An increased impact fee rate based on a proposed “construction interest cost” component should not be included in the impact fee calculation.
OCPS School Impact Fees

Now that the Committee has held its final meeting, their draft report will go before OCPS, the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Board of County Commissioners. A schedule of the corresponding meeting and hearing dates will be provided once published by the County.


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Tara

Tara Tedrow is a shareholder in the firm’s Land Use, Zoning & Environmental Group and serves as chair of the Cannabis & Controlled Substances Group. She brings years of experience handling an array of complex legal matters for multi-billion dollar valued companies and entrepreneurs alike.


With a significant portion of her practice devoted to land use and development, Tara regularly advises clients on entitling projects for commercial, residential, industrial, office and mixed uses. She works with local governments and regulatory agencies to address the needs of her clients related to environmental permitting and compliance, zoning, comprehensive plans, concurrency, site plan approval, variance and waiver requests, due diligence and property rights.

Often sought out for high-profile and high-stakes land development projects, Tara has delivered positive outcomes for clients ranging from large multi-national and U.S.-based companies to high-net worth individuals seeking land use entitlements. With over 15 years of competitive debate experience, she is uniquely suited to handle complex and controversial projects and public hearings that present a myriad of political and legal challenges.

Well-known for providing legal and lobbying representation for a wide range of cannabis clients, Tara and her team work with physicians, lenders, real estate developers, landlords, ancillary service providers, banks, licensed adult use and medical marijuana companies, cultivators, processors, retailers and license applicants, helping them to navigate the ever-changing regulatory landscape of marijuana and hemp regulations. She also assists clients in the national hemp industry in obtaining licensing and approvals for processing, retailing, cultivation and other forms of secondary byproduct monetization. Her deep knowledge of regulatory laws and understanding of operations and logistics for cannabis companies, along with her ability to make connections and build partnerships, bring strategic value to her clients. 

Tara is the only person in the state of Florida to be appointed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to both the inaugural Industrial Hemp Advisory Council created under Senate Bill 1020 and to the state’s Hemp Advisory Committee, which she currently chairs. A prolific presenter and speaker at industry seminars and conferences, she has served as the keynote speaker on industry regulations at over 60 events in the past two years. In the fall of 2018, Tara became the first professor in the state of Florida to teach a law school course on marijuana law and policy at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where she continues to teach today.

Prior to joining the firm, Tara worked as a legal extern for the University of Florida General Counsel and Office of the Vice President as well as for the Orlando Juvenile Public Defenders Office. For over a decade, she has also worked professionally as a private speech and debate coach and taught at multiple national debate institutes, including the National Debate Forum at Emerson University, the National Symposium for Debate at Grinnell College and Victory Briefs Institute at UCLA.

Tara is a contributing writer at the Orlando Sentinel and has spoken about various real estate topics on Fox News.


McGregor

McGregor Love assists clients with entitling projects for commercial, residential, industrial, office, and mixed use.


McGregor works with local governments and other regulatory authorities to address the needs of clients related to environmental permitting and compliance, zoning, comprehensive plans, concurrency, site plan approval, variance and waiver requests, due diligence, and property rights.

With a background in land use and business litigation, McGregor previously worked for other law firms where he focused on the representation of Florida businesses and business investors.

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