caterpillar_front_loader_283346_l.jpgIn light of the significant reduction in property values and construction costs across Lee County, a recent study conducted by Duncan Associates (a consulting firm based out of Texas) concluded that the Board of County Commissioners should consider similarly significant reductions in its road impact fees.

Road impact fees are generally assessed on new construction projects to mitigate the growth impacts associated with that development. Most notably, if your project is going to result in an increase in the usage of existing roads, or require that new roads be built, the idea is that the new project should pay for that impact. This “pay as you grow” fee is common across Florida, but the actual amount imposed for the fee varies greatly by jurisdiction. Typically, this impact fee is based upon such things as the construction costs in widening or creating roadways, or the purchase price for acquiring right-of-way if needed to improve the road. Since the costs of both have dropped, it naturally follows that this fee should drop as well.

On average, Duncan Associates is proposing a 27% reduction in the county’s road impact fees. In addition to this reduction, the study also proposes to roll medical office into general office use. Traditionally, medical office uses have borne a higher road impact fee, so this would even further reduce development costs for potential medical uses, if adopted.

Specific proposed fee changes include:

  • Single family detached: Drop 25% from $8,976 to $6,701
  • Hotel/Motel: Drop 25% from $5,172 to $3,861
  • Shopping Center/General Retail: Drop 28% from $10,983 to $7,933
  • Banks: Drop 32% from $25,134 to $17,187
  • Office: Drop 27% from $7,305 to $5,355

These proposals will be reviewed by various Advisory Committees before going before the Board of County Commissioners in June. You can obtain a complete copy of the 2011 Road Impact Fee Update here and find a listing of the Advisory Committee meetings here.