The Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners looks to be set to adopt a Mobility Fee Ordinance on April 26. Meanwhile, details are still emerging about the "grandfathering" of existing and ongoing projects and future projects under contract:
- Projects with a preliminary site plan, preliminary plat, construction plan under review or approved by April 26 will be grandfathered for up to five years.
- Projects with Development Agreements and specifically approved phases of Developments of Regional Impact will be grandfathered for the life of the agreement or specifically approved phase. Certain projects with complete Development Agreements under review by April 26 may also qualify for up to five years.
- Projects with approved Proportionate Share Agreements will be grandfathered for five years. Projects with complete Proportionate Share Agreements under review may also qualify for up to five years.
- Future projects that have "preexisting contracts" for the sale or development of land executed by April 26, if those contracts "specifically addressed the responsibility for payment of impact fees." This provision was added at our request because local governments cannot retroactively turn otherwise profitable contracts into losing propositions by imposing new fees affecting those contracts.
- Questions remain about whether the grandfathering, as proposed, adequately protects existing property rights and keeps the Ordinance from impairing existing contracts. Beyond these categories and some others with very limited application, most other claims for grandfathering or vested rights against Mobility Fees would have to be made in circuit court. In the meantime, developers and landowners with existing and ongoing projects and future projects under contract should act quickly to consider whether their projects qualify for grandfathering and whether additional measures are necessary to confirm any contractual relationships before April 26.
- Developers of existing and ongoing projects may also be interested in staff's proposal for the County to "buy back" existing impact fee offset credits. The details and funding of such a program are not a part of the Mobility Fee Ordinance and are therefore still uncertain.
- See our previous updates on the Mobility Fee Ordinance for more detailed information on the proposed fee increases of three to ten times compared to the existing impact fee, the fee's potential impacts at a time when we are seeing reports of increased development costs, and an overview of the structure of the draft Ordinance.
We are continuing to monitor how Mobility Fees will affect ongoing, proposed, and future projects in Hillsborough County, and how this new model of local government infrastructure funding will develop elsewhere across the state.