Residents and developers building in rural parts of Pasco County should pay more for roads than in other places of the county, but not as much as originally proposed.
That's the rationale county commissioners used when they agreed Tuesday to modify proposed fees that would defray the cost of road construction brought on by new development. The new fees would replace transportation impact fees for road construction.
Last week, County Commissioner Ted Schrader objected to the levy because it was higher for rural homes than the fee it replaced and higher than homes in more developed sections of the county.
The levy, which would replace transportation impact fees, would drop compared to impact fees for areas designated as urban or suburban, mainly West Pasco, Central Pasco, including Land O’ Lakes, and southern Pasco.
Schrader wanted the fees lowered for rural areas, also.
In response, county staff members slightly raised the fees charged for each typical single family home in the urban and suburban areas to allow reduced fees for rural segments.
Because more homes are anticipated for the urban and suburban sections, each $1 increase in those areas chopped $10 from the rural fees.
The proposed fee for a home in a rural area now stands at $9,800, down from last week’s proposal of $11,525.
The fee for urban areas would be $5,835. It would be $8,650 for suburban areas.
The fees replace a universal transportation impact fee of $10,302.
The lower fees are intended to stimulate growth and promote development in already densely populated areas.
Commissioners also talked about adjusting the proposed fees for retail development but stopped short of making more changes.
One aspect of the new fee structure is charging no fee for developers of office space or light industry in urban areas, an idea favored by Commissioner Jack Mariano.
He supported higher fees for rural areas because people who move to those parts of the county may want it to be exclusive and not developed.
“If people know we’re going to keep our rural areas rural, it adds more value,” he said.