Flagler Beach passes first vote to add new, increase impact fees

In addition to an increase in water and wastewater fees, the city will also be adding fire, police, library and parks and recreation impact fees.

The 2024 Flagler Beach City Commission. Photo by Sierra Williams
The 2024 Flagler Beach City Commission. Photo by Sierra Williams
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In the first of two votes, the Flagler Beach Commission voted to increase its water and wastewater impact fees and add impact fees for police, fire, library and parks and recreation services at its March 28 meeting.

But the decision was not without push back. Flagler Home Builders Association Executive Officer Annamaria Long submitted a letter to the City Commission outlining several concerns she had with how the study was conducted. The study was created by consulting firm TischlerBise, Inc.

"I really do wish that the study was performed better and resulted in realistic fees," Long wrote in her response to the commissioners. 

The vote passed 4-1, with commissioner Rick Belhumeur dissenting because the study did not include mobility fees, a one-time fee developers pay to mitigate traffic impact on a city's transportation system, according to the Florida League of Cities website.

If adopted, the changes would be implemented on Oct. 1, in line with the city's new fiscal year. 

The police, fire, library and parks and recreation fees are based on a building's square footage and whether a home is residential or non residential. 

For residential homes between 1,101 and 1,500 square feet, a developer will need to pay $717 in police impact fees, $849 for fire, $193 for library and $850 for parks and recreation. 

For non residential buildings the price varies depending on what type of development it is — commercial, office, industrial or institutional. For police, the impact fee ranges from $381-$1,911 per 1,000 square feet. 

For fire, it's $451-$2,261 per 1,000 square feet and for parks and recreation, it is between $539-$1,628 per 1,000 square feet. The library impact fee only applies to residential units. 

The administrative fee will range from $3-9, depending on the development type.

Water connections will also increase, depending on the type of connection and the size. A 1-inch connection will increase by $832 for potable water and $1,208 for wastewater, totaling $5,022 and $6,356, respectively.

Long, who reviewed the original study in November and found multiple mathematical errors, said there are still incorrect calculations within the study, according to the letter she sent the city. 

“At a taxpayer price tag a $50,000, I find mistakes unnecessary,” Long said in the meeting. “It shouldn't be happening, it's unacceptable.”

Long also said she was concerned about how the the calculations were determined, including calculating population growth based on land and a 2,700-unit development that are not yet annexed into the city. 

She also had specific concerns about how TischlerBise determined the rate of the new impact fees. Her letter pointed out that the parks and recreation fees do not use acreage but park amenity costs in determining the fee schedule.

"Since land isn't accounted for, it is unclear what the city's plan is to increase the park capacity," Long wrote. "Adding an amenity like a grill does not increase the capacity of a park. It would not be eligible for use of impact fees."

The study does not account for acreage in the parks and recreation section, but instead of park land the city "...plans to construct additional park amenities to serve future growth." Those amenities are outlined in the study as everything from grills to playgrounds and canoe launches. 

The Flagler Beach commissioners did not address Long's concerns during the meeting, but Commissioner Eric Cooley thanked her for her dedication in reviewing the study.

"It's good to have a checks and balances," Cooley said, "and somebody willing to dedicate that amount of time."



Sierra Williams

Sierra Williams is a staff writer for the Palm Coast Observer covering a variety of topics, including government and crime. She graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2021 with her bachelor's degree in print/digital journalism and a minor in political science. Sierra moved to Palm Coast in September 2022 and is a Florida native from Brevard County.

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