The fees would start at about $3,100 combined for a single-family residence.
The Flagler County Commission voted 4-1 on Dec. 6 to add new impact fees and end a moratorium on others. Commissioner Andy Dance was the dissenting vote: He'd wanted more time to review the proposed ordinance and hear public input and had proposed tabling it instead.
Impact fees are one-time fees paid by developers to offset growth's impacts on public infrastructure and services. The increase will raise the cost of constructing new housing.
"Your impact fees are not covering everything," Growth Management Director Adam Mengel told commissioners at a Dec. 6 meeting before explaining the proposed increases. "They’re covering a good bit of that new growth; they’re not covering it all."
The county's existing transportation impact fee, currently $1,438 for a single-family home, has been under a moratorium, but the County Commission voted Dec. 6 for an ordinance that would end the moratorium and increase the fee to $1,502, effective March 15, with annual increases planned for the following two years.
The county's existing parks and recreational facilities fee will also rise, while the county will implement impact fees for five new categories: Law Enforcement, Fire Rescue, Emergency Medical Services, and Library. Those would stay flat through 2024.
Mark Langello, president of the Flagler Home Builders Association, suggested that the county expand a proposed 30-day limit for developers to request a review hearing about their impact fees, saying it didn't leave them enough time. He suggested 90 days.
Commissioners agreed to amend the language of the ordinance to allow a 90-day time frame before voting to pass it.
Greg Blosé, president and CEO of the Palm Coast-Flagler Regional Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber had worked with staff to ensure that the numbers in the new impact fee ordinance make sense.
"I think what we have today is a really good middle ground," Blosé said during the meeting's public comment period. "... Flagler County needs to have its infrastructure in place for when new population continues to come here, and I feel confident that what's in front of you today does that."