Impact fees slashed
PASCO COUNTY — County commissioners agreed at their March 22 meeting to cut impact fees paid by new homebuyers by a total of nearly $1,500 for building parks, libraries, fire stations, rescue equipment and hurricane shelters through 2012. Commissioners also began a process to replace transportation impact fees permanently with lower mobility fees Those fees currently total nearly $1,700.
Impact fees for a 1,500- 2,499- square-foot home are nearly $17,000 including a transportation fee of $10,302 and a school impact fee of $4,876. The new mobility fee could be as much as 45% lower for south and west Pasco County areas with higher fees elsewhere. Commissioners are scheduled to discuss halving the school impact fee when they meet with school board members April 4. (See meetings at right.)
Community planning act passes key committee
TALLAHASSEE — The Senate Community Affairs Committee passed a growth management bill that gives local governments more control over development while restricting state oversight to more regional and statewide issues.
Senate Bill 1122 was substantially amended by the bill's sponsor, and committee chairman, Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, to make it conform to a similar measure previously passed by the House Community and Military Affairs Subcommittee. One provision restricts increases in nonresidential impact fees except for limited situations.
Contractors can do home inspections, but not repairs
TALLAHASSEE — A Senate bill would allow some licensed contractors and home inspectors to be licensed by the state as home inspectors by endorsement, but would not let them perform work on homes they inspect. The 59-page measure, a committee substitute for SB 396, permits Division I contractors and certified home inspectors to be grandfathered in if they submit an application to the state before July 1, 2012.
Division I contractors include general contractors, building contractors who can work on any building up to three stories, and residential contractors. To gain the endorsement to inspect homes, these contractors must also have a Division II air conditioning contractor license and an electrical contractor license.
There are more than 40,000 Division I contractors and more than 1,000 one- and two-family home inspectors certified and licensed in Florida.
Among other provisions, the bill permits those who are not licensed as landscape architects to submit landscape design plans to government agencies for approval. The bill also requires that products advertised as hurricane, windstorm or impact protection be approved as such through the state's product approval system.
The Collier County Community Redevelopment Agency, Bayshore Gateway Triangle local advisory board, meets 6 p.m. April 6, at Bayshore Gateway Triangle community redevelopment agency office, 4069 Bayshore Drive.
The Tourist Development Council will hold its final allocation meeting 3 p.m. April 5, at County Center, 601 E. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. For more information, call Marilyn Hett at 813-272-6212.
County commissioners will hold a joint meeting with the District School Board to discuss impact fees, at 9 a.m. April 4, in the first floor boardroom at the West County Government Center, 7530 Little Road, New Port Richey.
The Pinellas County Economic Development Council meets 8 a.m. April 7, at EpiCenter, rooms 1-451/1-453, 13805 58th St. N., Clearwater. For more information, call 727-464-8123.