Public comment sought on proposed park fees
February 13. 2013 6:00AM
A public hearing to explain proposed changes to the subdivision ordinance regarding park fee charges is scheduled for next week.
Dave Swier, city building inspector, said there’s been a long-time need to increase the fees assessed to developers on home building projects.
“We knew a long time ago that the park fee we were collecting was not enough money to do what we want to do,” he said.
Neighborhood parks, such as Tallgrass, cost between $400,000 and $450,000 to build. Included in the cost are land, trees, playground equipment, shelter, picnic tables and benches, sidewalks, grass and irrigation.
Brandon’s Planning and Zoning Commission has been working with Toby Brown, a planner with the Southeastern Council of Governments (SECOG), in establishing the new fees.
Swier said the issue was first looked at about seven years ago, but the council at that time didn’t want to increase the fees.
The ordinance as its written now requires a fee of $300 per acre. The proposed change bumps that up to $1,750 per acre.
If the ordinance is changed, developers will be charged $1,000 per acre when the lot is platted, plus a $250 per dwelling unit on the building permit, and a $250 permit fee.
“They are all pass on fees,” Swier said. “The builder of the home will pass that onto the home owner, and the developer will do the same thing.”
Swier said there are typically three lots within in acre.
Brandon developer Tom Howey said he favors the increase.
“It’s a tax that’s going to be passed on to the homeowner,” he said. “But it’s good for Brandon to have beautiful parks, so it’s a win-win for all.”
Swier said the fees should be reviewed about every few years.
“We’re going to have to look at it every two years or so to see we’re providing what we need to,” he said. “This is a good step for the city, and it needed to be done a long time ago.”
Following final approval of the ordinance change by the Planning and Zoning Commission, it will then go to the City Council for approval.
IF YOU GO
What: Park fees subdivision ordinance public hearing
When: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21
Where: Brandon City Council Chambers, 308 Main Ave.