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.
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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