By Gregg Laskoski, Spring Hill
The Hernando Board of County Commissioners and the Hernando School Board are once again sparring over residential impact fees. It was encouraging to hear C.J. Wilson, an attorney for the school district, remind the board (Aug. 8) that Florida’s state statutes actually require logical, sensible growth management.
And that’s critical now. The sizable migration to Florida is increasing the demand for more homes and infrastructure. Residential development is booming all around us, and some schools are already near capacity.
Wilson said, “The state recognizes that there could be friction between the two entities.” Citing the statute, he added: “It is the policy of the state to require the coordination of planning between boards & local governing bodies to ensure that plans for the construction and opening of public education facilities are facilitated and coordinated in time and place with the plans for residential development concurrently with other necessary services.”
“The state goes on to say that you cannot approve development where there are not adequate public facilities. And education is a ‘public facility.’ So what we’re trying to convey to you is that, with the low impact fees, the consequence could be that the school district would not have funding to keep up with the development coming on the residential side. And therefore, would slow development or stop development until we had capacity.”
If the school district’s portion of the impact fee is increased to the maximum allowable rate, that would raise the district’s portion from $3,176 per single-family home to $4,764 per home.
In total, Hernando County’s residential impact fee for a single-family home is $5,757. By comparison, Pasco County’s impact fee for a single-family home was recently increased from $18,212 to $22,503. And the Pasco Building Department notes that depending on the specific location, the fee could run a little more or a little less.