The Largo City Commission approved on March 20, the city developing an ordinance to waive parkland impact and capital improvement fees on residential development for 24 months.
Currently developers of multi-family housing in Largo pay about $1,800 to $2,600 per unit in parkland and capital facilities impact fees. The prohibitive cost is keeping some developers from considering Largo for their housing projects, city officials said.
"As the real estate market is recovering there is a significant interest in multi-family development," said Community Development Director Carol Stricklin.
"In terms of economic development we feel that mult-family development would provide a significant benefit to the city as well as to the commercial real estate market as we get new residents in and we get that type of reinvestment (in the city)," Stricklin said.
The city staff is hearing the City of Largo is not competitive for multi-family residential development for two reasons- impact fees and parking space requirements, Stricklin said.
If the ordinance passes, some impact fees would be waived for a two-year-period. Developers would need to get a building permit within this time frame. Plus, they would need to get a certificate of occupancy within twelve months of receiving the building permit, city officials said.
The parkland and capital facilities fees would be waived for all residential projects including single-family homes. Commercial developers do not pay parkland and capital facilities impact fees, city officials said.
The city would use two-year period to develop more competitive impact fees. They would also study the amount of parkland and capital improvement monies the city needs, Stricklin said.
The city commission was in favor of creating an ordinance to temporarily waive the parkland and capital improvment impact fees. The city plans a first reading of the proposed ordinance on April 17.
"I think it does make us a lot more competitive," said Mayor Pat Gerard.