The Flagler County Commission on Monday, despite sly maneuvering and lack of notice, voted to scrap and replace within 120 days a key inter-governmental agreement with the school district and three cities that frames how school construction and new development go forward in the county.
The 4-1 vote was on a significant policy matter that was not publicly noticed until hours before Monday’s meeting. It was yet another snub to process, to the Flagler County School Board, to Palm Coast, Bunnell and Flagler Beach governments.
The vote was also colored by disinformation and inaccuracies from Commission Chairman Joe Mullins.
The dissenting vote was that of Andy Dance, who objected to the lack of public notice and unfairness to the School Board. The commission’s actions drew sharp rebukes and correctives from two top school district officials at the meeting on Monday. Commissioners ignored them.
A working group made up of county, school board, home builders and others has been meeting to negotiate a new so-called “interlocal agreement” defining how new development and school construction work concurrently, so the school district is not overrun with students it cannot reasonably and properly accommodate.
No one on the working group disputes that a new agreement, referred to by its acronym, ILA, is needed. The current one is 14 years old. State law has been changed a few times since its inception. It needs an update.
But if everyone agrees that it needs a re-write, one issue in the ILA has been a sticking point. It sounds complicated. It’s not. The only complication is a different way of interpreting the issue, even though it was not a sticking point previously. It is an issue now because homebuilders–and, specifically, the Flagler County Homebuilders Association–is flexing its muscle. Residents are not. Parents with children in school are not. Future residents are not.
The sticking point is called “proportionate fair share.”
Here’s how to understand that: home builders pay a one-time “impact fee” of several thousand dollars to the school board on every new home, apartment and mobile home constructed. (No such fee is levied when existing homes change owners.) That new construction often, but not always, brings new students. The fee revenue helps the school board to defray the cost of new construction required to accommodate the influx of new students. It’s called concurrency. Concurrency has not been an issue for over a decade, because growth has been relatively mild. It is an issue again, now that development is again skyrocketing, and the school board, with the commission’s ratification, has just increased one-time “impact fees” imposed on new residential development, though not as much as it wanted to.
What is proportionate fair share? It has to do with when developers must pay that impact fee.
Here’s how County Administrator Heidi Petito explains it: “The way it works now, developers have to pay this [impact fee] in advance of their project.” In other words, when a development is planned out and approved through the local-government regulatory process. “What the development community would like is to pay as homes are being built. In other words, they would pay their impact fees at the time of permit issuance (homes typically take about a year to construct). So the School Board would receive these funds in advance of someone living in the home, instead of having to lay out the entire amount well in advance of a home ever being constructed.”
What that also means is that if impact fees are paid only when someone is closer to moving in, as opposed to when the developer plans out a project. So the school board is receiving money later, potentially denying the district the ability to properly plan. The approach makes school district priorities and students’ needs subservient to developers’ bottom lines. That’s the approach the school district is resisting.
That’s the approach a majority of the Flagler County Commission, led by Mullins, with Commissioners Donald O’Brien, Dave Sullivan and Greg Hansen in tow, is pushing.
That struggle was part of the reason the County Commission resisted the school district’s request for higher impact fees (the commission only approved a scaled back plan earlier this year). The struggle is now at the heart of discussions by a working group.
Commissioners had announced their intention to end the ILA with the school board months ago when the two sides were at loggerheads over those school impact fees (the school board wanted higher fees; the commission, answering almost exclusively to the demands of the Flagler County Homebuilders Association, which writes generous campaign checks, wanted fees far lower than those requested by the school board, and muscled its will through).
The two sides agreed to keep talking with the school board through a “working group.” That group included on its periphery (if not quite at the table), again, the homebuilders association and a representative from a group that has called itself a chamber of commerce. (Who and what that chamber is remains opaque, beyond its front man and a few founding members like the Observer newspaper. “It does increase the cost of housing,” Greg Blosé, the chamber’s representative, claimed to the commission in reference to impact fees in the context of mitigation credits, repeating–without evidence–a favorite claim by home builders, who frequently deflect skyrocketing housing costs on yet-unimposed impact fees.)
“All of this is in line at the working group meeting everybody understands that the ILA needs a rework, and doing the 120-days puts in place the timeline for that replacement,” Dance, who attends the working group meetings, said. “It’s good for us to back up what’s already in place, because [Assistant County Attorney Sean Moylan] was directed by the working group to chair the re-write of the ILA. So it’s appropriate that the commission is in support of Sean’s continued work. As far as the future meeting guidance on mitigation: as we look into that, I think again, having a thorough conversation of all this is great, because there’s tons of misinformation and mischaracterization of things that are in place that need to be clarified, and one suggestion was having an independent third party actually look at the mitigation component. It was suggested that maybe an independent third party that isn’t partial to the school district or to the county or to the development community be the one that comes in and talks about this.”
The suggestion was put forth during a working group meeting.
Hansen immediately rejected the idea of a third-party analyst. “I would consider that this board is the third party. We don’t have a dog in the fight. We’re just trying to make sure that it’s done correctly,” Hansen said–inaccurately claiming that the commission had no dog in the fight: the commission made clear that it was opposed to the existing ILA in part because of the mitigation credit issue.
“I agree,” Mullins said. “And my thing on mitigation,” he continued, inaccurately claiming that “taxes up front are never good. It’s just not the way the system was working, was made to work, and then I was told where we pick and choose who does it.” He said–inaccurately–that mitigation was the confusing matter, and it’s “where it just seems like there’s total chaos and disconnect.”
But there isn’t. It’s a sharp and clear difference of policy–not fact, not interpretation.
“We’re not the expert, we’re not the subject matter experts, Commissioner Hansen,” Dance said. “That’s the idea, is to have a third party expert that would be neutral. None of us up here are subject matter experts in litigation, or concurrency. We can’t play that role as experts. But I agree with the motion. As stated, I think we have time within the working group to work out those issues especially with a third party.”
Commissioner Donald O’Brien, who floated the motion to scrap the ILA, said he would leave it to the working group to decide whether to have a third party.
Mullins made clear he would override that approach, though he cannot do so unilaterally: “I don’t mind getting a consensus with the commissioners if we want to look at that but I definitely think with it coming back to us we’re going to have to play a role in making this decision,” Mullins said. “I see party one trying to, one party trying not, and then it switches. It’s just not going to move anywhere, and its’s not going to solve. And to say we’re not experts, I do feel we’re experts in what this community wants.” Mullins presented no evidence to back up his claims. He almost never does.
“I’m not a fan of this mitigation. I think it’s ridiculous, asking the businesses to pay everything, these impact fees, all up front,” Mullins said. “I want to know if we even need to have that in there. I’m being told statewide a lot of areas don’t, that’s where a lot of this confusion comes in. So I think we need to be very clear when we’re saying if we want it or not.”
There has, in fact, been no confusion: the disagreement is a matter of policy, not mechanics. The school board and the county have long agreed to the current arrangement because it allows the district to better plan for needed construction: once a development is approved, the developer pays school impact fees, understanding that it takes months, at times a few years, for the district to plan for a school expansion or a new school. Developers have the ability–and responsibility–to pay. But they’d rather not pay it sooner than they absolutely have to–or, in this case, want to.
Put another way: the mitigation on the county’s and developers’ terms, if and when enacted, enables developers to deny districts greater lead time in planning new construction–and limits the district’s bonding capabilities. It places developers’ private bottom lines ahead of public education’s constraints.
Hadeed did not answer Mullins’s question, not wanting to take a policy position: “That’s going to be an issue that will be addressed by the working group and hopefully, it’ll be resolved in some way,” Hadeed said. “If not, then you have to make a decision on it. But that is one of the issues that is pending now with the working group.” He stressed: “You understand I’m not passing judgment,” he said. “All these are open questions about how do we go for here, what’s the new world look like? And no one knows right now.”
O’Brien was not as dogmatic as Mullins. His motion left it up to the county attorney’s office, at a future meeting, to “provide guidance to us or an explanation of what our roles and responsibilities are with respect to the proportionate fair share mitigation process.” Commissioner Greg Hansen was also concerned about not starting entirely from scratch: “I just want to make sure that when we write the new one, we consider what’s in the old one. They were put in there for a reason, and although we didn’t follow them, maybe we should follow them,” he said.
The school district’s Patty Bott, the point person on impact fees and mitigation, attempted to correct Mullins’s misinformation without naming him as she addressed the commission–and as she called out the commission’s skirting the law.
“First thing I’d like to do is object to any vote on this matter today since it was not properly noticed,” Bott said. “We got noticed at 9:34 via email this morning, that this was even being brought up, so the school board has had no time to prepare any information for this item. In addition to that, we’d like to address some of the items regarding proportionate share. We do not ask for money upfront with proportionate share. We meet, and it is done equally with each and every new developer in the community. We meet with each developer and sit down and come up with a proportionate share of payment plan as to the timing that works along with their buildout schedule. So the information you’ve been getting on it is not coming from someone that has knowledge of it.” That “someone” was Mullins.
“The other item I’d like to bring up is that the interlocal agreement is a contract between five separate entities,” Bott said. “You are one. The school board is one. Palm Coast is one. Bunnell is one and Flagler Beach is one. Should you vote to put the school board on notice of 120 days, that would be between you and the school board but would not affect the other entities to that contract. We are working very hard with the working group with Mr. Moylan and the working group to try to address everyone’s concerns. We have invited people to join us at the working group,” who are not part of the ILA. She meant the homebuilders.
“So the school board is doing everything they can to work toward coming together with all communities. And the ILA is written and approved by all communities. It’s not written by the commission and the school board. It’s not written by Palm Coast and the school board. It’s all five coming together with each of those thoughts, and each entity must approve the new interlocal agreement and sign it. So it’s not voted on by one individual or two individual entities.”
Kristy Gavin, the school board’s attorney, also noted that she only learned that the commission would be discussion the issue that morning. She recalled the history of interlocal agreements since 2005, noting that all five entities that are party to it agree that a new one is necessary due to changes in law, but terminating it without a newer agreement in place “is in violation of statute,” she said. “So my recommendation would be: you have set a deadline of September for the new agreement to be put forth, and the working group committee can make sure that September is when that new agreement comes forward, but that the agreement remains in place until the new agreement is drafted and presented to all five groups for approval. Until all five groups approve it, which means it has to be placed on all of their agendas, not just your agenda and our agenda, but all five communities would have to place it on their agenda for approval. So my recommendation would be that the current agreement would stay in place until the new one goes forward.”
The commission has run roughshod over the school district for months on impact fees and mitigation issues. It did so again on Monday, even before the discussion began.
“I really would just defer to county attorney Al Hadeed to kind of lead off the discussion here,” Commissioner O’Brien said, prefacing the scrapping of the ILA. He was being disingenuous. The commission had led that move, and had only deferred the mechanics of it to the attorney’s office to execute, by way of legal cover. In that sense, the legal office was being openly manipulated.
O’Brien, as is often the case with him, was predisposed to make a motion, as he made clear later. He had spoken with Hadeed over the weekend, had all his questions answered, and had prepared a statement as a preface to his motion. O’Brien claimed he was unclear only about a key part of the successor agreement on the “proportionate fair share” portion that’s been a sticking point, though a central reason for the re-write is that very matter.
Hadeed presented the commission’s choices: either edit the old agreement or write a new one. The current document was adopted in 2008. It’s “lengthy, it has a lot of detail in it, it’s outdated,” Hadeed said of the 34-page document, its procedures not necessarily followed anymore. Hadeed and Assistant County Attorney Sean Moylan recommended that the county start “on a clean slate,” enabling everyone to participate more meaningfully to rewrite the document.
The 2008 document has a 120-day termination clause requiting either side to give notice of terminating it as a “pathway to get from the current to the future” document, Hadeed said, reminding the commission of the other parties to the agreement. He also underscored Gavin’s proposal to use the 120-day period to craft a new agreement, a proposal with which Hadeed concurred. The deadline would be Sept. 1.
In Hadeed’s words, the county was following a procedure to “terminate the existing interlocal agreement in order to make way for the preparation and finalization of the successor agreement.”
“There’s not an intent to jettison every single part of the existing interlocal agreement,” Hadeed said. “It needs to be practical and feasible.”
“There’s no point in having a regimen that’s not likely to be followed. Here the agreement we have, to use a phrase, has been honored in the breach.” Hadeed then ventured: “My guess is that you’re going to have something in between. From present, heavily structured, to the existing practice of very informal. It’s going to be somewhere in the middle.”
But a majority of commissioners have already made clear that to them, that new world entails scrapping the agreement with the district to the extent that the previous mitigation agreement is no longer enforced, making this 120-day period a form of theater–going through the motions–than an invitation to substantive work.
Mullins later claimed that “it’s very crucial with all the eyes on the education system in our state by state level and all the attacks and stuff that we’re seeing. ” He continued: “I think it’s very important here in the community, we’re going to have more parents not just leave it up to individuals to determine in the way this stuff’s being done. We need to be very conscientious about all this stuff and make sure that we’re protecting the quality of our education, from our level that we do.”
Mullins may not have been aware of his own contradiction. The district has been arguing to the commission that, by exclusively and rather blatantly carrying the developers’ water, it has not been protecting the quality of local education so much as undermining its capital planning.
NO JOE! says
Once again folks doesn’t this sound all to familiar with this group with the exception of Andy Dance, another crucial meeting no public address, lets face it short public notice is the SOS as no public notice, no public input cause they really don’t want us at these meetings. Yeah Joe lets keep the money in the wealthy developers pockets as you think that you mention that you are experts and know what is good for what our community wants. Yeah we really want overcrowded public shools with portable classrooms because we want to be at the hands of greedy developers who couldn’t care less for our childrens future.
I went to the county chambers ten minutes before the meeting. I picked up a paper copy of the agenda and reviewed it.
#8 General Business: None
#9 Public Hearings:
a: Hunter’s Ridge DRI change
b: Dissolution of Hunter’s Ridge CDD
c: Amendment to Plantation Bay DRI
Nothing of concern on my part so I left. How can the county commissioner vote on something not on an advertised agenda or on a paper copy provided at the meeting, especially something of this degree?
Since we’re discussing impact fees ? When new construction is approved & happens. There should be a fee for existing homeowner’s to be compensated for the environmental impacts. When a wooded lot is cleared, the weeds in those wooded areas become airborne. The weeds seeds land in relatively healthy lawns and germinate, overrunning the grass. Eventually those weeds multiply & spread, Palm Coast Code Enforcement comes around and harasses the homeowner for violation warning(s). I’ve never had an issue with weeds in my yard, that is until the great Build Back Better lies of the current administration. Weed spray & removal as DIY or thru a lawn service is an expensive & time consuming war vs Mother Nature. They have cleared at least 20 lots and added dwellings in my neighborhood’s immediate roads in all directions over 2021 & 2022. Many of those dwellings remain unsold properties currently, yet existing properties that never had an issue with weed overgrowth are now visibly showing the weed invasions. We need to be compensated for this weed infestation to be made whole as a remedy/solution. Don’t get me started on the Bahia grass yards that are nothing more than an I-95 highway weed that stems & seeds like the best of weeds. The grass growth is a waste of a mowing really, but the weeds get chopped & mulched to spread.
As for schools, people with children need to pay more for their children’s educations. Otherwise, they should find some place else to live. We have a $ 5.6 million splash pad that could’ve built another school or two. Instead it’s another albatross of financial burden on the taxpayer. Didn’t make it thru a summer before it was falling apart and non-operational. I warned of this over the past few years that it was being pushed by Palm Coast government that I was aware of it.
You’re simply uninformed, Jimbo. The money spent on the splash pad could never be used for school construction.
If you don’t want the empty lot next to you being built on, but the lot yourself. There are over 12000 empty lots in Palm Coast from the original ITT development. You’re In the wrong place if you don’t expect more people to move here.
Perhaps you might gain some credibility if you did not include Irrelevant comments such as “I’ve never had an issue with weeds in my yard, that is until the great Build Back Better lies of the current administration.” in your monologue. This bill has not yet cleared Congress let alone been signed into law.
As for your comment on who should pay for schooling, one of our basic tenets of life in this country is that we all must support the basic education of our youth. If you do not like that, perhaps it is you who should find someplace else to live. This year we will pay just over $3,000 in school taxes for two properties where we have never had a kid in a school. Am I overjoyed with paying that much, no. But, I do consider it to be my duty as a citizen to support the education of our next generations.
Oh yeah, I would love to see the two schools you could build for $5.6 million.
Truth right here folks
This is a money-grab by the school system, plain and simple.
The School Board has managed to upset wide swaths of the community in the past year or two, and now they want builders to pay millions in up front costs after they significantly increased impact fees. Not good enough that they are getting more money per new house, they want up front payments now. Where’s the fire; what’s the rush? Meanwhile, FlaglerLive failed to mention there has been no major increase in student population for over a decade, despite significant growth.
There’s a time value to money, and when you’re dealing with MILLIONS per development, it has to increase the cost of housing, that’s kinda how business and economics works…lol.
Why should taxpayers care, well, we have to maintain these new facilities once built…so we better darn well make sure we need these $20m, $40m, $60m schools. Because we’ll be paying via our taxes to maintain them.
The developers currently pay their impact fees up front. The fire will be here in a few years when the thousands of houses being planned are built and the kids are sitting in portable classrooms with class sizes of over 35 kids each. It takes several years to project the needs, design the schools, acquire the land, build the schools and hire the teachers and staff.
The whole idea of having the impact fees paid up front is so that the timing of the houses being ready for occupancy coincides with the new schools being ready for use, not delayed by three years.
This process is only supposed to be used when there is a crisis. The student enrollment has been flat for over a decade and the school system has over $20m in the bank to build new schools., collecting about $9m each year in impact fee money. They already have the sites for future schools.
The fear-mongering needs to stop.
Jimmy: I was at the impact fee meeting and I believe that the 20-30 million which you are referring to is loan and has to be paid back. This is what was said during public comment from one of the school board members.
It is not a loan. It is accumulated funds from impact fee collection over the years. It is used to pay down interest on previously built schools and expansions, and will be used for the coming expansion at Matanzas.
Best I can tell from the 2021 Financial Report is that the district has right at $11 million in the capital projects fund. Of which, $4.3 million (not $9 million) came from impact fees with the balance from sales tax fees and other fees per state law. Even if it was $20 million, that is a drop in the bucket today when looking at new schools.
As for already having land for future schools, yes, they have three parcels; one of 26 acres at the very south end of the county off US 1 and two in the Seminole Woods area totaling 30 acres. Neither of these are in the areas of peak development. They have no land where all the new development is happening in the northern portion of the county. Now I am sure given the wisdom of both the BOCC and the Palm Coast Council that the need for new schools was taken into account and land was dedicated to school construction somewhere in these newly developed areas, they would think of that wouldn’t they?
Choices are always good and we have several:
1) We leave the impact fees alone and ignore the fact that in 3 – 5 years the current schools will be overcrowded. At which point people will be screaming to build new schools and the only way to do it then will be to pass a referendum and everyone’s taxes will go up.
2) We raise the impact fees and start the planning, land acquisition, and construction of new schools in areas where they will be needed – sort of like ‘getting ahead of the curve’. In this scenario, the new users will pay for the majority of the new schools, not the general population.
3) We eliminate the impact fees, sit back and watch the nightmare unfold until the Federal DOJ walks in and starts talking about discrimination. They nail our carcasses to the wall, sue the BOCC and the school board while forcing new schools to be built with all the taxpayers footing the bill. Think this can’t happen? Look what they have done with county jails across the country.
Personally I am no fan of impact fees as they have been misused by units of local government for decades but unfortunately, they are a necessary evil. The time to start planning and building the new schools is today, not when there are 35 – 40 kids in a classroom and we are rolling in portable classrooms.
A better caption for the report’s photo:
Left to right: The Skipper, Gilligan, The Professor, Mr. Howell.
The skipper and howell are almost the same person: a triple dipper; annoyed by the peasantry daring to question anything. The professor will join them in the near future. And then there’s gilligan: a know nothing blowhard on the run from the other floriduh — georgia.
And so it goes.
Education is when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get if you don’t.
— Pete Seeger
The dude says
Get the money up front. These are builders we’re talking about.
Did none of ya’ll learn ANYTHING from 2009?
M. Chiumento says
I and dozens of others represent business owners who have QUESTIONED the District’s lack of implementation and planning of schools including it collection of over $30,000,000 from our residents. Is questioning government now wrong? For your reader’s sake, I will simply say that many of your assertions in this AND PAST articles are (I) wrong, (2) misleading, (3) part truths, or worse (4) your personal opinion. You yourself reported that despite District representations, it’s new enrollment has been stagnant for a decade. Please dig deeper for the truth?
Mike Martin says
One more reason to vote Mullins out in the August Primary (August 23), and vote O’Btian and Sullivan out in 2024. They clearly work gor developers, NOT the citizens of Flagler County. It’s more than time to take back our County!
Thank You Sir, Joe gotta go
Just another example of the Republican philosophy of governing, Information is given on a need-to-know basis, and you don’t need to know.
Roy Longo says
How blatant can these idiots be. The home builders association is obviously in Mullins back pocket, as well as his three Merry Men. This is a perfect example of the corruption of these four commissioners who don’t even try to hide it. Hopefully a day of reckoning will come next November and Mullins will pick up his carpet bag and go home!
Cuban Pete says
If you look at the property appraiser’s website you will see a very large amount of land around Bunnell has transferred hands recently to Allen Lands LLC out of Brunswick Georgia. This is about the time Joe Mullins began pressuring the City of Palm Coast for Fire services to be expanded and for mosquito control services as well. Since then the County Commission has been at war with any potential funding for the School District.
I see two possibilities, someone stands to make a lot of money turning that land near Bunnell into a retiree-only community, hence the no need for more schools mentality, and someone else paying for fire and mosquito services by existing residents subsidizing new construction. Or, the county commissioners, given that they are not smart men, hate school and don’t want to fund it properly or build any more of them.
The dude says
Why can’t it be both?
Why can’t we just box Mullins up and send him to his employer
“The vote was also colored by disinformation and inaccuracies from Commission Chairman Joe Mullins.”
Please take Mullin, Alfin and ,O’Brien and get them out of Flagler County. Please people watch who you vote for.
M. Chiumento friend of developers and Joe: Well look at you all upset over FlaglerLive’s article, wouldn’t you all just love to silence them so you talk BS about them being inaccurate or misinformed but we the citizens and the taxpayers in this community are not stupid and know your motives otherwise, for instance like I mentioned above last minute late agenda, now why was that, I will tell you why, cause at the last meeting about the impact fees the above commissioners did not expect the people to as Joe puts it, come out of their homes, to attend that meeting, they all looked so distracted and upset up there on their thrones and this is why this agenda was put on the last minute, YOU ALL DON’T WANT US THERE, you don’t want our voices to be heard, you don’t want us to go on public record and you all really don’t care for the future of our children cause you either have children who are out of school or go to private schools. And YES what is so wrong about getting the money upfront, are you afraid that the overdevelopment of your ventures are not going to sell once the recession hits, so you guys go in and disrupt our flora and fauna which have grave impacts on our community and environment and walk away with your pants pulled up. Why are these developers so upset over this, cause maybe if they don’t have all these millions up front they will think twice before destroying what little green space we have left. Put the money in the hands of our public school system to FIX and IMPROVE it, pay the teachers HIGHER SALARIES so we don’t have shortages, INVEST the money in MUSIC and ART programs which were reduced or taken away becaus of a lack of funds, we can think of plenty of ways to improve the education for our students and future students. STOP THE STEAL!
Jane Gentile-Youd says
Thank you Gina for speaking on my behalf as well as yours. I can feel your sincere passion and it is so welcome because there are so few of us who still have it; Celia Pugliese is the only person I know who feels like you do and I do. If the voters had read about Mullins ‘baggage’ in Georgia they would not have voted for him in 2018 but unfortunately ‘signs’ and ‘political party’ seem to count above what really matters and we all wind up paying for such ignorance.
The basic problem here is not the impact fees (which are too low) but rather when the fees are paid. The naked truth is that the developers do not pay the fees. When it all shakes out, the purchaser of the house is the one paying the fee. If the developer pays the fees up front, he tacks on a handling charge, paid by the buyer, for what it cost him to finance the impact fees. Doesn’t cost him a cent. A developer who says otherwise is a liar.
Who it does cost is the purchaser. The developers ‘handling charge’ makes the price of the house go up which the home-builder’s association does not like because it reduces the numbers of people who can afford their houses and it cuts into their ‘upgrade’ profits. The National Association of Home Builders has a formula to calculate the number of potential buyers they will lose per $1,000 increase in new home prices. Ten years ago that number was floating around 9% per $1,000 increase, I have no idea what it is today. With a loss of potential buyers like that you can see why builders do not want increases in impact fees or other charges the buyers cannot see and touch.
The builder would much rather charge you $1,500 for a countertop than $1,500 in fees. Same bottom number but guess who get the money.
Denali: Thank you for this knowledge and insight, it is much appreciated. Maybe the National Association of Home Builders need to recalulate and reajust their figures, also sounds like money is going through alot of greedy hands as some of these cookie cutter homes are terribly overpriced as is for what the potential homebuyer gets which is why there are upgrades if the homebuyer wants to choose them. So what you are saying is that the developer is not really that affected with upfront impact fees and that the developer needs to qualify the impact fees to the buyer, so what’s the big deal then??? How about telling the potential homebuyer the truth about the impact fees, if they are willing to spend so much on inflated home prices and it’s a sellers market, not enough home inventory, so be it. A good impressive school system is important to the community whether one has children or not. It’s not like the money is going to empty pickle ball courts or wasteful spending on moldy buildings.
I have lived in Palm Coast almost 6 years now. I can see many failings of the County and city in the way things operate. On this particular subject, why would you NOT allow planning for new schools/expanding existing ones by charging upfront impact fees to the developers? So what that later on it is passed to the new homeowner. MAYBE that will deter the unprecedented growth and traffic that is only getting worse here. I don’t want to live in another Orlando, I got away from that. And speaking of growth, has anyone in our govt entities ever thought of taking and conferring with other cities and counties in Florida to LEARN just HOW to do everything from A-Z?
Knowledge of successes and failures is power and can help us all.