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These fees help to offset the financial impact a new development places on public infrastructure, such as roads, parks, and libraries.
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A development impact fee is a one-time payment imposed by a local government for new development’s proportionate share of the capital cost of infrastructure. The development impact fees are collected from new construction at the time a new building permit is issued. Beaufort County conducted a development impact fee study in July 2020 and County Council adopted the recommended development impact fee rates for northern and southern Beaufort County as a result of that study. The study demonstrated that as a result of projected land uses, densities, and population growth estimates over the next 10 years within northern Beaufort County, there will be a need for expanded parks and recreation facilities, library facilities and transportation improvements to support such projected new growth and maintain a reasonable level of service standards.
The State of South Carolina grants the power for cities and counties to collect development impact fees on new development. Beaufort County adopted a development impact fee ordinance for the collection of parks and recreation, transportation, and library impact fees on May 22, 2023. The City of Beaufort entered into an intergovernmental agreement with the County on May 24, 2023, for the collection, on the County’s behalf, of development impact fees for parks and recreation, transportation, and library services. The collection of the new impact fees went into effect on June 5, 2023.
Separately, the City adopted a development impact fees ordinance for fire services on April 13, 2020. This addressed substantial growth and new construction within the municipality, which requires additional fire services infrastructure capacity and maintenance. Those fees went to effect January 1, 2021.
It depends on the square footage of the home. For example, for a 2,300-square-foot-home, a developer would pay a one-time fee of $466 for library services, $1,006 for parks and recreation services, and $3,135 for road services, for a total of $4,607 in impact fees. In addition, in the City of Beaufort, developers pay $305.43 fire impact fee for a 2,300-square-foot home.
Developers and builders of new residential property development pay for library, parks, and road impact fees. Developers of new commercial property pay only the road impact fee.
The developer may decide to add some or all of the cost of the impact fees into the price of the home.
Several infrastructure improvements are needed in northern Beaufort County and are attached to the intergovernmental agreement signed by the City of Beaufort and Beaufort County. Some of these projects are within the City of Beaufort and will receive a level of funding through impact fees. These include the construction of a parallel road to Boundary Street, Calhoun streetscape improvements, and improvements along Ribaut Road and park improvements for several City-owned parks. Other roads, parks, and library projects in northern Beaufort County are included in the County development impact fee ordinance.
Yes, but the development impact fee rate schedules are different for northern and southern Beaufort County.