Osceola County, St. Cloud, and Mt. Dora Propose Massive Increases to Impact Fees


Osceola County, City of St. Cloud, and City of Mt. Dora are all set to vote on proposed increases to impact fees that, if approved, will substantially increase the cost of development in these jurisdictions.

Below is what developers need to know regarding the types of impact fees affected, proposed increases, public hearing dates and potential effective dates for each jurisdiction.

Osceola County Mobility and Fire Impact Fees

Osceola County is considering increasing its mobility and fire impact fees. The County has recommended mobility fees with increases that range from 129% to 152% for residential projects. To illustrate the magnitude of the proposed increases, the current mobility fee for a single-family home in Osceola County is $9,999 per home but is projected to jump to $25,012.42 per home under the proposed impact fee schedule.

Osceola County is also proposing to increase their fire impact fees, with the fees for a new home proposed to rise from $391 to $780, representing a 99% increase. Hotels and motels will experience the most drastic increase, jumping 176% from $284 per 1,000 square feet to $784 per 1,000 square feet.

Given the severity of the increase, Florida Law requires that the County hold two public workshops before the County Commissioners can vote. For the increase to pass, two-thirds of the Commissioners must vote to approve the new impact fee schedule.

The County held the first required public workshop on June 3, and the second will be held on June 19, 2024. The County has yet to determine whether the increases will be implemented immediately or phased in over several years.

The Osceola County Commissioners were scheduled to vote on the proposed increase during their July 1 meeting. However, they voted on June 10, 2024, to delay the vote, expressing concerns that the increases would create additional barriers for the construction of affordable housing.

If adopted, the increased fees may go into effect as early as 90 days following the vote to approve the new impact fee schedule.

City of St. Cloud Mobility Fees

Coordinating with Osceola County, the City of St. Cloud has also proposed increases in mobility fees from $6,442 for a new single-family home to $20,866.64, resulting in a 224% fee increase.

St. Cloud will hold the first required workshop on June 13, 2024, and has prepared a draft of proposed Ordinance No. 2024-30. St. Cloud stated in the ordinance that, “[c]oncerns about the increase in demand on the current transportation network due to the projected growth rate within the City along with the increase in transportation improvements costs have created a need for the City to increase mobility fees before the phase-in limitations.” However, the City has not determined how projects that are currently under review and being processed are to be handled and whether they will be assessed the new fees.

Ordinance 2024-30 will go to the City Council on June 13, 2024, for first reading. The final public hearing is scheduled to be held on July 18, 2024, where the City Council will vote on the fee increases. If adopted, increased fees may go into effect as early as 90 days following the vote to approve the new impact fee schedule.

City of Mt. Dora Sewer Connection Fee

The City of Mt. Dora has already voted to increase its impact fees, specifically targeting the water sewer connection fee. The City argued that the proposed increase is justified based on rapid population growth.

The existing sewer connection fee is $4,215 per equivalent residential unit, while the new fee is $7,975, representing an approximately 89% increase. The City Council voted unanimously on June 4, 2024, to approve the new fee schedule included in Ordinance No. 2024-11.

The new fee schedule will take effect on September 2, 2024.

If you have projects impacted by these potential impact fee increases, or any land use matters you want to discuss with our team, please contact Tara Tedrow at tara.tedrow@lowndes-law.com.

* Mohammed Khan, a summer law clerk, assisted with this article.

This article is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal advice. Please do not act or refrain from acting based on anything you read here. Please review the full disclaimer for more information. Relying on the information provided in this article or communicating with Lowndes through our website does not create an attorney/client relationship.

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