Duke project stirs impact-fee fight in Hillsborough

Duke Realty would owe just $34,000 of the cost of a $5 million road-widening project

Nov.November 01, 2015 02:00 PM

Hillsborough County commissioners are upset over a 2009 state law that sharply reduced the so-called impact fees developers pay for road upgrades and other infrastructure work near their projects.

At the core of the commission’s distress is Duke Realty’s plan to develop 1.5 million square feet of warehouses and 28,000 square feet of retail store space in southeast Hillsborough County.

Widening roads near the development will cost $5 million, and under the 2009 state law, Duke Realty is required to pay just $34,000 of the cost.

One of the commissioners instructed the county attorney to determine whether Hillborough can withdraw approval of the Duke development.

In addition, the commission has requested a review of county spending on infrastructure work since the 2009  enactment of the state law. The county has collected about $6 million in impact fees since 2009.

The commission also voted to send a letter to legislators from Hillsborough County requesting relief from the 2009 state law, which altered impact-fee calculations.

Prior to the state law, a local government could force a developer to pay for road-widening work if the developer’s project is going to add traffic in a high-traffic location.

Under the law, the developer pays for road upgrades in an amount based on the proportion of traffic the developer’s project will add to overall traffic.

The law was signed in 2009 by then-Governor Charlie Crist to promote a recovery in real estate development. [Tampa Bay Times] — Mike Seemuth

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