Town To Study Imposing Impact Fees

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It’s possible, Fort Myers Beach might see some commercial development growth over the next 5 to 10 years. Yes, commercial buildings are gone, but proposals that are coming forward are bigger than what sat on those properties before Hurricane Ian. Can the town’s infrastructure handle that?

There’s always a chance that Fort Myers Beach elected officials could reject development that results in bigger structures with more density, more traffic, more waste and the infrastructure needed to maintain all of those services. But, what if a Town Council decides to allow those larger developments? Who’s going to pay for the extra burden placed on the infrastructure, the pipe, as Mayor Dan Allers always refers to it.

At an upcoming meeting the Town Council will most likely approve a contract with Axis Infrastructure, a company the town already uses for contract work. That contract will be to produce an impact fee study. The goal would be to impose impact fees on new development (both commercial and residential) to make sure the town’s infrastructure can adequately handle the growth.

The study would take 4 to 12 months and cost $85,000. The scope of work would include two public presentations to elected officials (one work session and one public meeting for action to implement the impact fees). Tasks would include: collecting data, projecting future development, update infrastructure standards, identify capital improvements needed to accommodate growth, calculate and prepare an impact fee schedule,

Public hearings would have to be held if this process does move forward. If the Town Council does decide to pass a new impact fee ordinance, and a new development is already permitted and underway, the town cannot retroactively charge that property owner any impact fees, according to the Town Attorney.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. We only rent out two of our condos for 3 months since we want to be there to supervise our wonderful renters! This will be a huge burden on us. We are both 81 years old and consider two rentals as part of our retirement investments and one unit for our Family use and one for us. Luckily we are on the South End of the Island; What are the plans for those guests and day trippers to access our places in Paradise? I don’t believe the guests/owners coming from the South OR North End have much of a choice We have been owners for almost 4 decades! We are trying to finally retire after paying for the education of all our grandchildren, only one more year to go! I suspect that the Board wants FMB to be another Naples. What are the plans to alleviate the congestion? In season it always has been terrible! What are the plans for us taxpayers and residents supposed to endure?.. difficult access to shopping, appointments, getting to the airport exiting the Island, and returning during the high season which looks as if it might be all year long. WE own only 4 condos in FMB, but a condo in Bethesda, a Home up North and a residents in central Paris! Our increased insurance, and our assessments to update all 4 condos on FMB are quite high. We can weather it, but I don’t know how so many of our FMB are seasonal and even permanent; they appear to be trying to force out those retirees who are year-round residents or only seasonal ones. We belong to 7 HOA associations! We own a manufacturing business in NY. As my husband says: Follow the money!!

  2. We need another candidate or 2 for town council so we can get rid of these snakes selling out the people and FMB to developers .
    The conflicts of Interest and personal interests of the Town Council members are driving this –

  3. How about impact fees to be used towards a “mid island” bridge to end somewhere around Salty Sams? Tolls could also contribute to the cost. Would surely be used by people heading off island and would help with North end congestion. Larger projects would pay millions in fees for approval and traffic would be diverted to another island access/ exit.

  4. Traffic was terrible before IAN. It is terrible now. Solve the traffic and parking problems or there is no need to study anything. Perhaps we could charge $6 to cross the Matanzas Bridge like Sanibel does. And charge the same at the southern end of island. Discounts or passes for locals. Probably solve the problem.

  5. Just stop the negative impacts, by not approving the offending projects. Charging fees for negative impacts doesn’t remove the impacts. Especially as it relates to too much density.

  6. Do you want a prosperous town or a dead town. Traffic will only reduce if you kill the beach. As long as this area is attracting people they will come.

  7. The island couldn’t handle the traffic before Ian. What makes council think it could handle more traffic after? Council should never have allowed Margaritaville to be larger than the zoning called for. If it continues this trend, which it appears it will, traffic congestion will make it impossible to get on and off the island. Restore the island density to what it was.

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