Santa Rosa OKs drafting new impact fees that could cost homebuyers $8,000

Santa Rosa County Commissioners voted Thursday to draft an ordinance that will implement new impact fees county-wide on top of a $5,000 educational impact fee, which could mean new homeowners would pay up to $8,000 to help pay for roads, parks, law enforcement and new schools. 

The board voted unanimously to direct staff to draft the ordinance. It will come back to the public for public hearing at a future date that has not yet been determined and will then go before the Board of County Commissioners.

If ultimately approved, the impact fees could generate about $4 million a year to pay for roads, as well as $800,000 yearly to pay for parks and $800,000 yearly for law enforcement. 

Impact fee study: Santa Rosa County to discuss additional impact fee to pay for roads, parks, police

The commission’s vote Thursday directed the county’s attorney, Roy Andrews, to draft an ordinance that will outline the implementation, collection and spending of new infrastructure impact fees. The new fees are separate from the educational impact fees passed earlier this year, which are currently on hold due to a lawsuit filed by the Home Builders Association of West Florida.   

The suggested impact fees, which the board indicated could be adjusted downward, are as follows:

  • Single-family detached: $3,004 total ($2,114 roads, $499 parks, $391 law enforcement)
  • Multi-family, low-rise (1-2 stories): $2,260 total ($1,640 roads, $384 parks, $236 law enforcement) 
  • Multi-family, mid-rise (3-10 stories): $1,837 total ($1,217 roads, $384 parks, $236 law enforcement)
  • Mobile home/RV park: $1,920 total ($1,120 roads, $474 parks, $326 law enforcement)
  • Retail/commercial per 1,000 square feet: $3,338 total ($2,908 roads, $430 law enforcement)
  • Office per 1,000 square feet: $2,491 total ($2,282 roads, $209 law enforcement)
  • Industrial per 1,000 square feet: $1,156 total ($1,056 roads, $100 law enforcement)
  • Warehouse per 1,000 square feet: $517 total ($471 roads, $46 law enforcement)
  • Mini-warehouse per 1,000 square feet: $417 total ($407 roads, $10 law enforcement)
  • Public/institutional per 1,000 square feet: $1,119 total ($1,000 roads, $119 law enforcement)

The fees would only be collected in unincorporated areas of the county, although they could be collected in incorporated areas per an interlocal agreement. 

The vote Thursday is a significant step forward for impact fees in Santa Rosa County, which the vast majority of voters have said for at least the past two years that they wanted in order to mandate developers and new county residents to pay for their share of increasingly strained infrastructure. 

This story will be updated.

Annie Blanks can be reached at [email protected] or 850-435-8632. 

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