Pasco County has adopted a new mobility fee rate schedule — with fees increasing in some categories, and decreasing or staying the same in others.
The proposed fee schedule calls for a sizable fee increase in the retail category.
It also proposes the addition of two new categories — one that provides a discount for locally owned small businesses and another that establishes a rate for accessory dwelling units.
Mobility fees are used to help pay for the impacts that new development has on people’s ability to get around — including drivers, walkers, cyclists and transit riders.
The new rate schedule, approved by the Pasco County Commission at its Sept. 28 meeting, was recommended by the county’s staff and was based on a study completed by Bill Oliver, a consultant. Oliver is a registered professional engineer, who has conducted a number of mobility fee studies for the county including this one.
The proposed changes also received a recommendation for approval from the Pasco County Planning Commission, at its July 22 meeting.
“The costs of implementing your mobility system have increased over recent years,” Oliver said, at the planning board meeting.
At the same meeting, Oliver said that costs for implementing improvements to the county’s mobility system have increased in recent years and are expected to continue to do so.
The Florida Department of Transportation has estimated that costs will increase by 3% a year over the next five years or so, he said.
To keep pace with those increases, Oliver said the county needed to increase its fees.
- Continues to encourage office, industrial and lodging, and redevelopment and infill development in the West Market Area by charging zero mobility impact fees in those categories/areas
- Increases most retail fees by 50% over 4 years, divided equally by year, due to cost increases and partial or full subsidy removal
- Increases rates for apartments by 6% annually, for a total of 24% over four years due to cost increases and full subsidy removal
- Creates a new category for locally owned small businesses, with a 50% discount in standard fees
- Continues to charge full rates for mini-warehousing and mining
- Increases other fees by approximately 3% annually, or about 13% over four years, to address cost increases
- Creates a reduced rate for accessory dwellings, sometimes known as mother-in-law residences
Accessory dwelling units are defined as an ancillary or secondary living unit, not to exceed 900 square feet, that has a separate kitchen, bathroom and sleeping area, either within the same structure or on the same lot, as the primary dwelling.
Oliver also told the planning board that the schedule changes reflect the changes made in state law during the last session of the Florida Legislature.
The new law establishes that impact fee increases must be limited to every four years, with a maximum of a 50% increase in individual rates.
A 50% increase must be implemented over four years in four equal installments, Oliver added.
Pasco began charging transportation impact fees in 1985.
It later shifted to mobility fees and decided to provide mobility fee incentives to encourage growth in specific categories.
The discount for locally owned small business is based on a concern they could not absorb the increased retail fees, Oliver told the planning board. That change was included after individual conversations he had with members of the county board, he told planning commissioners.
For purposes of the fee schedule, locally owned small businesses are defined as businesses that are not chain operations, that have 25 or fewer employees and that are 51%-owned by people whose permanent household is in Pasco, Hillsborough, Hernando, Pinellas, Sumter or Polk counties
All other fees, such as single-family residential, institutional fees, recreational fees, and other land use categories, will be indexed over the next four years at about an increase of 3.13% per year, Oliver said.
The changes take effect on Jan. 1, 2022.
Published October 06, 2021
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