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Osceola County Passes Increased School Impact Fees for Most Residential Construction

March 12, 2018

By: Rebecca (Becky) Wilson

Earlier today, the Osceola County Board of County Commissioners (“the County”), by a 5-0 vote, passed an ordinance increasing school impact fees for most types of residential development in the County. Although the initial version of the ordinance had an effective date of March 12, 2018, after significant discussion among the Board, the County passed a version that pushed back the effective date of the ordinance to August 1, 2018. The final version of the ordinance also removes all references to a "grace period" to avoid a conflict with the new August 1 effective date. The new impact fees imposed by the ordinance will be assessed for residential development that is constructed pursuant to a building permit issued after August 1, 2018.

The new ordinance will provide an exemption from school impact fees for vacation rental units known as “Vacation Villas." Additionally, residential construction that qualifies as “Short-Term Rental” property — that is, residential units that are used for less than 30 days per year by the same individual — will be subjected to a reduced impact fee rate. A developer seeking to benefit from either the Vacation Villa exemption or the reduced Short-Term Rental rate must file an application with the Superintendent that addresses the criteria outlined in the ordinance prior to receiving a building permit for the proposed construction.

The new impact fees are shown in the table below along with the former rates:

Residential Land UseOld Impact Fee (per dwelling unitNew Impact Fee (per dwelling unit)New Short-Rental Rate (per dwelling unit)
Single Family Detached$10,187$11,823$6,264
Multi-Family (Apartments)$6,088$11,362$7,033
Mobile Home$6,013$7,672$7,672

Notably, the ordinance does not discuss vested rights agreements between developers and the County.

A copy of the previous version of the ordinance that does not reflect the final changes to the effective date and grace period is found here. If you have any questions about how the new ordinance may affect your business in the County, please contact any member of the firm’s Land Use, Zoning & Environmental Group.

This article is informational only. You should consult an attorney before acting or failing to act. The law may change rapidly and no warranty is given. LOWNDES DISCLAIMS ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES AND WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY WARRANTY OF FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. ALL ARTICLES ARE PROVIDED AS IS AND WITH ALL FAULTS. Consult a Lowndes attorney if you wish to establish an attorney/client relationship.

Becky  Wilson is chair of the firm's Land Use, Zoning and Environmental Group. She represents property owners, developers, lenders and other development participants with issues related to zoning, comprehensive plans, concurrency, administrative law, Developments of Regional Impact (DRI’s), procurement issues, due diligence and property rights.

As early as sixth grade, Becky advocated for the causes she believed in. Her concern about nuclear waste and water contamination in her hometown of Dothan, Alabama – and her thorough research – promoted her to press a state legislator with questions in the school auditorium. Having grown up in the South, Becky got in trouble for questioning authority – yet that life experience served her well.

After clerking for a federal judge in Washington, D.C., Becky landed in Orlando, quickly building a reputation at Lowndes for being thorough, outspoken, and a tireless advocate for clients. She ultimately found her niche in land use, collaborating with architects, transportation engineers and local governments to move her clients’ projects – and Central Florida – forward. Becky became one of the youngest female shareholders at the firm. Today, she is Chair of the Land Use, Zoning and Environmental Group.

Her clients include property owners, developers, lenders and other participants in the development of high-rise, hotels, planned communities, large “power-centers,” mixed-use projects, office buildings and big box commercial projects, projects within historic districts, multi-family developments, senior living, and affordable housing. Becky works closely with the local government entities to address the needs of her clients related to zoning, comprehensive plans, concurrency, administrative lawDevelopments of Regional Impact (DRI’s), procurement issues, due diligence, and property rights.

Undoubtedly, Becky’s diligence, activism and Southern charm were responsible in part for her appointment as chair of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) of Central Florida District Council, a global multidisciplinary real estate organization with more than 40,000 members dedicated to the responsible use of land, and creating and sustaining thriving communities.

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