Impact Fee History
Since 1986, Indian River County has levied traffic impact fees on new development projects using a “consumption – based” approach, whereby new development is charged for the infrastructure capacity it consumes. From 1986 through 2004, the traffic impact fee rates were periodically reviewed and updated. In 2004, the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) commissioned a study of traffic impact fee rates and a study for the establishment of eight new impact fee categories. That study was conducted by the consulting firm Tindale-Oliver & Associates. The eight new impact fee categories studied were: emergency services, parks and recreation, public schools, solid waste, correctional facilities, law enforcement, libraries, and public buildings. In June of 2005, the BCC approved the impact fee study and new/updated schedules for traffic impact fees and the 8 additional impact fee categories.
Since adoption of the 8 new impact fees in 2005, the County completed three impact fee update studies. Those studies were completed in 2007, 2009, and 2014. The 2007 impact fee study, completed by the consulting firm Duncan and Associates, was based on construction and right-of-way property cost data from the peak of the building boom. By the time the study was completed, the county was entering into a period of declining property values and decreasing construction costs. Because the data in the study did not reflect the changed economic circumstances experienced after completion of the study, the BCC did not adopt the impact fee study and associated updated impact fee schedules. Instead, a new impact fee study was undertaken by the County Planning Division and completed in 2009. That study and its associated impact fee schedule update were ultimately adopted by the BCC. That 2009 impact fee schedule reduced non-residential impact fees.
In 2013-2014, the County used the consulting firm Tindale-Oliver and Associates to perform an updated impact fee study with a directive to present a method for reducing non-residential impact fees without significantly increasing residential impact fees. By early April 2014, the consultant and county staff had workshopped and completed the nonresidential portion of the impact fee study which used the “Affordable Growth Strategy” and staff recommended policy discounts for public buildings, parks and recreation, and library impact fees. Those methods identified and calculated non-impact fee revenues in a slow to moderate growth environment to “buy down” and discount impact fee rates for economic development and policy reasons while providing adequate revenue for maintaining adopted levels of service.
On April 22, 2014 the Board of County Commissioners adopted a revised and reduced non-residential impact fee schedule with an effective date of May 5, 2014, based on the “Affordable Growth Strategy” and staff recommended policy discounts. The result was significant discounts for non-residential uses compared to 2009 rates, such as reductions of 50% or greater for various commercial and industrial uses.
The residential impact fee review was completed in September of 2014 and on September 11, 2014, the School Board held a special meeting and public workshop and voted unanimously to request that the BCC continue collection of school impact fees as recommended in the impact fee study. A revised residential impact fee schedule which included continuation of school impact fees was adopted by the Board of County Commissioners on October 14, 2014 with an effective date of February 2, 2015. For both the nonresidential impact fee schedule and the residential impact fee schedule, the Board of County Commissioners voted to not collect impact fees for correctional facilities, solid waste facilities, and libraries, consistent with findings in the impact fee study.