BY MATT MENCARINI | STAFF WRITER
Ormond Beach will have to amend its Land Development Code after a disagreement with Volusia County brought the city’s mobility fee into question.
The mobility fee, which was added to the Land Development Code in early 2011, would’ve allowed transit improvements, as well as elements like bike trails, along the city’s roads.
The county approached the city roughly two weeks ago and said the mobility fee needed to be removed, though, because it conflicted with current road impact fees.
After discussions with the county, the city will draft an amendment allowing for the mobility fee to be kept for A1A, U.S. 1 and State Road 40 (Granada Boulevard), at the same level as the city’s current road impact fee, which is applicable for the rest of the city.
A mobility fee is a charge on all new development to provide for the impact on the transportation system. It allows for development beyond just road widening, which is what Planning Director Ric Goss says the road impact fee does.
Since Goss said the City Commission has previously expressed no interest in widening A1A, U.S. 1 and State Road 40, there was no need for a road impact fee for them.
“It allows you to do more things,” Goss said of a mobility fee. “And counties are realizing it’s too expensive to widen roads. ... That’s the way cities and counties are going.”
The city also said the mobility fee costs less because it isn’t meant to expand road capacity, only efficiency, which can lead to economic development.
“I have no idea,” Goss said, when asked why the county brought up the issue now, instead of when it was put into the comprehensive plan.
“We had it adopted into our comp plan. It was challenged by (the Department of Community Affairs), and we made the corrections. The county had no objections.”
In a document, the city said, “It appears the county does not want to establish a mobility fee for Ormond Beach for concern of other communities, such as Daytona Beach and New Smyrna Beach, would also want one for International Speedway Boulevard, or the established CRAs.”
Goss will send a draft of the amendment to City Manager Joyce Shanahan for review, and then it will go before the City Commission.