Impact Fees – Serious Discussion with Unintended Consequences

10 Apr Impact Fees – Serious Discussion with Unintended Consequences

As the positive conversation about managing traffic and future growth on Ladys Island moves forward, some are quick to say “charge the new residential and commercial arrivals significant impact fees like they are doing in Mt Pleasant.”  I recommend care in throwing around such terms and threats until we all understand some of the intended and unintended consequences.   I would also remind you that over the years in response to the sprawl of Mt Pleasant from Charleston, Mt Pleasant has tried building moratoriums and other measures to control growth that apparently have not worked well enough.

While I have not yet done the math, it would seem that if the school district, the county and the city agreed to make part or all of Ladys Island a Tax Increment Financing District, in time we would raise sufficient funds to mend some of the problems and/or provide significant matches to state and federal grants to be applied to planning and solutions to the challenges of Ladys Island.

Another option for controlling growth is “transfer of development rights”, a program the department of the defense created and implemented to clear areas around  MCAS Beaufort.  While soon to be implemented, I am not sure the number of customers for development rights is large enough and market dictated rates to sellers will be enough to get them to part with their land. But still worth a look.

As the Sea Island Coalition and the SC Coastal Conservation League continue to work on a much needed long term plan for Ladys Island, I would highly recommend the realities of funding mechanisms be included in the plan. Working with the Citizens, the Schools, the County, the City and the Town of Port Royal (because they are deeply effected by traffic to and from the islands) must in our own ways be part of the solution.

With country taxpayers spending about $50 million and the congestion simply getting worse, I am not sure paving alone is the answer

Read about Mt Pleasant Plan

Mount Pleasant Town Council votes for higher impact fees