File Name: MR. DAVID LOMBARDI REGARDING COUNTY ROAD IMPACT FEES
Agenda Date: 6/5/2012
Agenda Item Number: 1E1
PRESENTATION BY MR. DAVID LOMBARDI REGARDING COUNTY ROAD IMPACT FEES
Audrey M. Edmonson, Prime Sponsor
Sally A. Heyman, Prime Sponsor
Board of County Commissioners
Mr. Lombardi noted that he represented the Wynwood/Art District community. He stated abandoned factories were being converted into a living art district. Mr. Lombardi requested an amendment to the county code, because at the current time he was unable to pull building permits without paying impact fees prior to obtaining permit. Mr. Lombardi noted he wished that the impact fee would be incurred once the Certificate of Use (CU) was obtained. He noted this would assist from a liquidity standpoint.
Commissioner Heyman noted she was delighted that Mr. Lombardi had stepped forward to redefine Wynwood area. Commissioner Heyman stated that this issue had been addressed previously on a piecemeal basis, and advised that the request was in process. She said the proposed language had been given to the County Attorney’s Office so that the changes to the required fees could be made. Commissioner Heyman noted she would like to patronize the Wynwood area.
Commissioner Edmonson stated she also would like to patronize the area. She said legislation was being drafted and would be submitted to the County Commission.
Commissioner Bovo inquired regarding whether these permits were for existing buildings and asked the Mayor what triggered new impact fees for businesses that wanted to occupy an existing structure.
In response to Commission Bovo’s inquiry, County Mayor Carlos Gimenez advised that a change in use would require a fee, which was a policy established by the board, because it may impact the amount of traffic.
In response to Commissioner Bovo’s inquiry concerning the types of businesses that would be located in this area, an unidentified speaker stated that the businesses would be on adaptively reused properties and the projects would be low-scale. He explained that by using warehouse properties, the change in use fees could be increased by as much as $26 per sq. ft. He stated he wanted to continue the movement of the Wynwood area to the New Renaissance Age, which would help to bring exposure to the area.
Mayor Gimenez stated the impact fees had been reduced by 50% by a policy of the commission, and he agreed that they were disincentives to economic development. He noted that the Code needed to be examined by the administration and they would come up with a comprehensive recommendation to incentivize investments. Mayor Gimenez indicated this could aid in balancing the need for improvement to infrastructure and that it would enable investments to be made in order to facilitate job development and future investments in all areas of the County, not just Wynwood.
Commissioner Bovo stated that he was encouraged by the Mayor’s words and he was looking forward to the legislation that was being prepared. He explained this was an issue that affected all commission districts and he believed this was a way that government could pave the way for investments.
Commissioner Edmonson stated this was an up and coming destination area. She said she wanted to try to move this area beyond where it was today since it had transformed itself.
In response to Commissioner Moss’ inquiry regarding whether the proposed legislation being drafted would focus on up and coming areas, or whether it would address areas throughout the County. Commissioner Edmonson indicated that the legislation would do the latter.
In response to Commissioner Moss’ question concerning if the practice of collecting fees at the end of the process as opposed to the beginning had a down side to it, Mayor Gimenez stated that it was a concern, but could be circumvented by not issuing the “CU” until all fees were paid. However, he noted, if the City of Miami issued the CU, it would need to verify that fees were paid prior to issuing the “CU.” The Mayor noted he did not feel that everyone should be penalized for the few that did not pay the fees at the end of the process. He indicated that the Administration would have to look at the whole issue of impact fees itself and use fees as a way to enhance the infrastructure in the area around the property being improved or constructed. He explained that the impact fees were normally assessed in big zones and the benefits were usually not seen in the areas that were impacted.
Commissioner Moss said that this was another concern, because the City of Miami seemed to be overlooking a number of issues; but he looked forward to the legislation that would be coming in order to help incentivize an area of development. He opined that the concerns for the fees that would be needed for other uses should not be disregarded.
Mayor Gimenez stated he would have someone from his office get Mr. Lombardi’s contact information to make sure he could give input on the recommendations that the administration would be making.
Commissioner Diaz congratulated Vice-Chairwoman on how much Wynwood was thriving. He noted he also wanted to patronize this area, that he would support the legislation, and that he believed the impact fees could be used in a better way.
Commissioner Monestime noted he was looking forward to the proposed legislation and felt that it was needed. He said once he had been elected, he had looked at the dead commercial areas in his district (Commission District 2) and also visited the Wynwood area because of its transformation in the last several years. He stated it was good for other areas to emulate the economic development in the Wynwood community. Commissioner Monestime urged the chairperson to hold a Sunshine meeting or a workshop regarding additional ideas for the legislation. He said the legislation could have a major financial impact on the entire County and he supported it, but wanted to hear from everyone else.
Commissioner Edmonson stated it would be her pleasure to have a Sunshine meeting and she knew that this would impact the whole County. She said she would set a date and invite everyone to attend.
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