Charter Review Commission

6/21/2015 – Charter Review Public Comment about roadways

Fred Brummer - Charter Review Commission

Fred Brummer – Charter Review Commission

In the May 14th charter review meeting, Mr. Brummer talked about a sales tax for the purpose of infrastructure.  When I watched the video on Orange TV, I couldn’t help but think about our situation out in East Orange County.  I am sure everyone has heard of our plight and the two developments that are working through the application process right now on the Lake Pickett properties.  East Orange County has been neglected for many years when it comes to infrastructure improvements.  Mr. Brummer, I went to see you in your Commission office the last go around and I was strongly opposed to the developments because there was no plan for traffic.   Now I am strongly in favor of these applications because they will generate between 40-50 million in road improvements plus responsibly develop these properties.  Highway 50 and the roads around it are getting downright dangerous to drive on.

Then you spoke about other districts and the obstacles they face.   District 3 that is fully built out but with a road structure more than 50 years old and district 4 that is being built out and facing its own problems.  You mentioned the deficit of 1.4 billion dollars that is needed in road improvements backed by Mr. Nastasi’ presentation to the BCC a few months ago.  We know that the mayor has secured 200 million in bond funding for infrastructure but that still leaves us a 1.2 billion dollar deficit.

Right now Orange County generates 30 million in gas tax per year that will soon be cut due to the recent MetroPlan vote to allocate 30% of road funding to mass transit away from infrastructure which leaves Orange County 20 million per year.  All of the current 30 million Orange County now gets goes to road repairs, not new roads which means Orange County will have to manage with 20 million for road repairs.  Then a paltry 10 million comes in per year from impact fees which is enough for Orange County to build about 2-3 miles of roadway.  Hardly enough to satisfy the needs of the county.

You said that a penny tax would generate 330 – 380 million dollars a year for infrastructure.  1.2 billion divided by 350 million is about 3 1/2 years so a one penny tax for 4 years would get us back on track.  I agree with what you said.  We are on the edge of cataclysm; the point of desperation.

Have you ever heard someone say the phrase, “it’s only money”.  Whenever I hear that phrase it tells me that person has enough money to pay for what he needs and is not financially burdened.  But if someone is financially burdened, you will never hear them say those words because it is all about the money.  Well, Orange County is financially burdened when it comes to infrastructure repairs and it is all about the money.

And as you said, it takes a vote of the people.  Let us decide if we want this burden in order to fix our roads.  If this commission has the power, please consider finding a way to add this to the next ballot.

 


Who’s on the Charter Review Commission?

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Traffic in East Orange County

6/20/2015 – Email to Orange County regarding McCulloch Road

From: rj@rjmueller.net [mailto:rj@rjmueller.net]

Sent: Saturday, June 20, 2015 7:54 PM
To: Olan Hill (Olan.Hill@ocfl.net); ‘district5@ocfl.net’; ‘mayor@ocfl.net’; ‘district1@ocfl.net’; ‘district2@ocfl.net’; ‘district3@ocfl.net’; ‘jennifer thompson’; ‘district6@ocfl.net’; ‘Chris.Testerman@ocfl.net’; ‘Jon.Weiss@ocfl.net’; ‘Alberto.Vargas@ocfl.net’; ‘Janna.Souvorova@ocfl.net’; ‘Blanche.Hardy@ocfl.net’; ‘Renzo.Nastasi@ocfl.net’; ‘Lynette.Rummel@ocfl.net’
Subject: McCulloch Road across the Econ

At the 6/18/2015 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting during the Lake Pickett text amendment discussion, Commissioner Baldocchi talked about the traffic issues and the roadways.  He was not in favor of the Lake Pickett extension to Woodbury as the extension is not on any long range projects or maps and is being proposed by the developer.  It would also require eminent domain which in his opinion and others is not a good option.  His thought was to take the extension off the table and instead four lane Lake Pickett to Highway 50.   Then he talked about what he called the “white elephant in the room” which was an extension of McCulloch to 419 across the Econ.  He recommended running a traffic study to determine feasibility.  Commissioner Baldocchi then said he doesn’t know why we won’t talk about it.  He wants the applicants to look at this possibility.

Then Mr. Nastasi responded with some comments regarding the possibility of a study.  This would have to go through a preliminary engineering study to justify including workshops and public hearings.  He noted that that road is not on any long range project plan.  He also stated that McCulloch Road was not found to be feasible in past studies.  14-15 years ago the board at that time made a decision to remove McCulloch from the long range plan.

Commisioner Baldocchi thinks McCulloch Road crossing the Econ would be an alternative to the four laning of the Lake Pickett.  He also called McCulloch Road the back entrance to UCF.  Included in the motions that passed were recommendations to look at this alternative.

I don’t disagree with anything he said and don’t object to a traffic study.  However, if McCulloch is the “white elephant in the room”, let me introduce you to his sibling, the “green elephant in the room” that nobody wants to talk about.  The Richard Crotty Expressway.  Specifically the road from the end of Research Parkway to N. Tanner.  After studying the roads out here and looking at this, I think if McCulloch which is not on any long range project plan and is at this time considered not feasible and a road called the Woodbury extension which was just recently proposed by the applicants are being considered, surely a road that is on the long range traffic plan as shown below from Mr. Nastasi’s presentation at the last community meeting could also be considered as another road that would alleviate traffic.  If this is going to be done right, everything should be on the table.

Mr. Nastasi presentation - planned roadway improvements

Mr. Nastasi presentation – planned roadway improvements

I will echo Commissioner Baldocchi words when he said he doesn’t understand why nobody wants to talk about it.  Whenever I bring it up I seem to run into brick walls.  This road if extended to N. Tanner would alleviate traffic on N. Tanner to McCulloch as well as provide a much needed south entrance (another back entrance) to UCF as well as fully utilize Percival as another north-south road that parallels N. Tanner.  This seems like a no brainer to me.  I would like to know why it is not being considered and if the applicant is going to be required to do a traffic study that includes roads that are not on the long range plan or any maps, I would like to request that study also include this road from the end of Research Parkway to N. Tanner seeing it is already on the long range plan.  I do not oppose four laning McCulloch but common sense just tells me that this road makes a lot more sense to get traffic east and west.

I have discussed this with some people and all seem to agree it is worthy of study.  Please at least look at this and if there is a study done, please consider including it.

Olan, I would appreciate you forwarding this email to the Planning and Zoning Commission members.

Sincerely,

RJ Mueller

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6/18/2015 – The text amendments have passed through the Planning and Zoning Commission

I have a lot to report and a lot to go over so this will have to be broken up into many blogs.  Let’s begin with the final outcome.

The text amendment to change the zoning to a “LP” designation passed.  “LP” means Lake Pickett.  That’s right, this is a new designation solely for Lake Pickett.  Two other motions were also made and passed which were for each development, Lake Pickett South (LPS) and Lake Pickett North (LPN).  View the motions below.

Before you think this is over, it is far from it.  This is just the “Transmittal” stage.  And it still has to go to the Board of County Commissioners (BCC).  If it passes that board then it goes into the “Adoption” phase where the real work begins.  It starts all over and this is where all of the studies and money is really spent.

I agree with these motions passing because I think it is the best deal on the table and will fix traffic.  You can view my public comment below.  There is a lot more to this than these 3 minutes so check my blogs site and Facebook site to read and hear more of this story.  One of the big surprises was a can of worms being opened regarding McCulloch Road crossing the Econ.  More on that later.

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6/18/2015 – LPA meeting notes

My public comment for the Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting on June 18th, 2015

This is my third and hopefully final go around with the Lake Pickett properties.  The first I was an observer.  The second I was strongly opposed because there was no plan for traffic.  This time I am strongly in favor of the Lake Pickett developments because a plan is in motion to responsibly develop these properties while at the same time fix the traffic issues.

  • I agree and support the staff recommendation for transmittal.
  • I have faith the agreements forged during the adoption phase will guide how these properties will be developed as well as protect the rights of the residents who live in the area.
  • I believe this text amendment will cement in stone no commercial or high density housing on S. Tanner Road giving the residents who live there the rural lifestyle they now enjoy.  The same is true for Lake Pickett Road and 419.
  • There has been talk about these developments being urban sprawl.  I don’t believe that theory.  I do believe there will be urban sprawl if these properties are developed individually and without this comprehensive plan using transect-based strategies.  Eventually Lake Pickett will be developed.  This is the best opportunity to plan the whole area as one and truly have responsible planned development.
  • Regarding traffic, I believe the money these developments will provide coupled with the recent announcement of 200 million in transportation funding by Orange County will empower Orange County to make the necessary improvements to the roads so needed in East Orange County.  It will literally erase the neglect from the past and put a plan in motion to fix these roads.  We know the money Orange County is borrowing is not enough to make all the necessary improvements to this area.  This holds true for the money from the developers.  But put both sources together and there could be enough to get us where we need to be and is exactly the plan everyone has been so passionate and vocal about.  Every single person wants traffic fixed and should embrace this plan!
  • I want to make this point very clear seeing there are signs all over the place frightening people with the thought of 15,000 more cars on the road.  I am OK with 15,000 more cars if they can get to their destinations faster and safely.  I am NOT OK with even one more car on the road with the current traffic congestion.

I have faith, believe and trust that Commissioner Edwards, the mayor, commissioners, yourselves and staff will do everything possible to ensure the rights of the citizens in East Orange County are respected and protected.  Please approve this text amendment so East Orange County can move forward and begin the repairs we so desperately need.

Ran out of time so I could not finish.  Here is the last paragraph that I wanted to read.

I have a few seconds left so I would like to get a bit personal.  To agree to this is truly a leap of faith.  Many people I have talked to tell me past stories of promises broken.  Roads that were suppose to go in that did not materialize or subdivisions that did not look anything like what was first shown.  I hear it but won’t believe it until I see it for myself but it is my biggest concern.  That “The Grow” will be “The Woe” and “Sustany” will be “Catastrophe”.  I want this approved but we must ensure that what is promised is delivered and the roads are fixed.  This is the beginning of a long process that will take years.  I only ask we stay focused and always keep this vision in mind.  All of this has to work together or there is no point in moving forward.

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Planning and Zoning Commission

6/17/2015 – Tomorrow is the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting

Orange County Rezoning Approval Process

Orange County Rezoning Approval Process

Tomorrow is the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting that is another milestone for the Lake Pickett Text Amendment Applications.  You can view the agenda here: Planning and Zoning Commission – June 18, 2015 Agenda.  While this meeting does not decide the fate of the applications, it most certainly carries weight.  The commission can approve or deny the applications based solely on consistency with the Comprehensive Plan.  If the applications are approved, the next step will be a hearing in front of the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) who will either approve or deny “TRANSMITTAL”.  This is not the end game, in fact, it is only just another milestone.

If the Planning and Zoning Commission denies the applications on the basis of non-consistency with the Comprehensive Plan then the applicants have the option of appealing the ruling and can go in front of the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) who will make the final determination or they can redesign and resubmit or they can abandon the applications.

The vote by the BCC on July 28th is only for “TRANSMITTAL”.  This means the real work begins.  It means the BCC approved the applications provided many criteria are met by different agencies.  Agencies such as St. Johns river Management, FDOT and many more.  The applicant will have to satisfy all of the criteria and then go before the Planning and Zoning Committee and Board of County Commissioners once again for approval.

This phase is called “ADOPTION” and is where the most time and money is spent.  If Commissioner Edwards is not satisfied with the agreements reached with the applicants during this phase, the applications will most likely not survive.  I believe the fate of these applications lie not only in the will of the people but a plan that will fix the roads.  There would be no sense in approving these developments and leave the roads in the state they are in now or worse.  The only reason to proceed forward with the applications is if there would be a positive impact to the area.

 

 

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Planning and Zoning

6/17/2015 – Email supporting Lake Pickett Applications

Below is the email I wrote to the Planning and Zoning Commission in support of the Lake Pickett Applications.

From: rj@rjmueller.net [mailto:rj@rjmueller.net]
Sent: Monday, June 15, 2015 8:54 PM
To: Olan Hill (Olan.Hill@ocfl.net); ‘district5@ocfl.net’
Cc: ‘mayor@ocfl.net’; ‘district1@ocfl.net’; ‘district2@ocfl.net’; ‘district3@ocfl.net’; ‘jennifer thompson’; ‘district6@ocfl.net’; ‘Chris.Testerman@ocfl.net’; ‘Jon.Weiss@ocfl.net’; ‘Alberto.Vargas@ocfl.net’; ‘Janna.Souvorova@ocfl.net’; ‘Blanche.Hardy@ocfl.net’; ‘Renzo.Nastasi@ocfl.net’; ‘Lynette.Rummel@ocfl.net’
Subject: Proposed Lake Pickett Development Text Amendment Applications

Mr. Hill,

Would you please forward my email on to the members of the Local Planning Authority in preparation for the upcoming meeting on Thursday.  This is in regards to the Lake Pickett property applications.

I am stating that I am in favor of these developments with the reasons below.

This is the third attempt to develop the Lake Pickett properties.  The first time I was mostly an observer but did have the occasion to visit Mary Lamar on her property for a show and tell.  The second I was strongly opposed because there was no plan for traffic and it made no sense to put homes on the properties without a plan for the roadways.  This time I am strongly in favor of the Lake Pickett developments because a plan is in motion to responsibly develop these properties while at the same time fix the traffic issues.  There are many others who feel the same way and live in my community of University Estates and the surrounding communities.  This is evidenced by the number of likes and reads of posts on the Facebook website I created at http://www.facebook.com/fixmyroadway and my blog site at http://www.fixmyroadway.com.

  • I believe these developments are compatible and consistent with the comprehensive plan.
  • I believe the agreements that will be forged after transmittal will establish a wise plan on how these properties will be developed as well as protect the rights of the residents who live in the area.
  • I believe these developments will cement in stone no commercial or high density housing on S. Tanner Road giving the residents who live there the rural lifestyle they now enjoy.
  • The same is true for Lake Pickett Road and 419 north of Lake Pickett Road also giving the residents who live there the rural lifestyle they now enjoy.
  • I believe these developments will stop the uncontrolled spread of urban sprawl to this area through responsible development using the latest Transect development techniques being used by Orange County.
  • There has been talk about these developments being urban sprawl.  I believe it will be urban sprawl if these properties are developed individually and without a global plan as is being proposed this time.  If these applications are denied, urban sprawl will continue as it has with haphazard small developments and Orange County forced to approve in the name of consistency and compatibility.  Eventually Lake Pickett will be developed.  This may be the only opportunity to plan the whole area as one and truly have responsible planned development.
  • I believe these concepts will promote walk-able communities that are also in close proximity to one of Orlando’s five economic hubs and if the roads are planned right these communities will be in commuting range by cyclists to UCF and Research Park reducing energy consumption.
  • Regarding traffic, I believe the money these developments will provide coupled with the recent announcement of 200 million in transportation funding by Orange County will empower Orange County to make the necessary improvements to the roads so needed in East Orange County.  It will literally erase the neglect from the past and put a plan in motion to fix these roads.  Even with the money Orange County is borrowing, it alone will not be enough to make all the necessary improvements.  This holds true for the money from the developers.  That money is not enough but put both sources together there could be enough to get us where we need to be.   This is exactly the plan we need.
  • I want to make this point very clear seeing there are signs all over the place frightening people with the thought of 15,000 more cars on the road.  I am OK with 15,000 more cars if they can get to their destinations faster and safely.  I am NOT OK with even one more car on the road with the current traffic congestion.  I feel people out here have been ramped up using traffic as the hot button.  And it has worked.  Everyone is fine tuned to the traffic issues as evidenced by the last community meeting.   We all want the roads fixed.  I don’t think anyone will disagree with that and say they don’t want the roads fixed.  This is one point that everyone is in agreement.  This is the golden opportunity to fix the roads.
  • But the residents also don’t want changes to the rural character of the area.  I understand the fear of losing a way of life.  I think if done right these people will have their way of life.  Here is a little story to bring this to life.  My property backs up to UCF property.  My house is one of the closest to a 45,000 capacity football stadium.  But walking out my back yard and looking towards the stadium, I might as well be in the middle of Lake Pickett.  All I see are trees.  I don’t know that a gigantic stadium is there and I certainly don’t know there are building upon building on a campus that holds 61,000 students.  But it is there and it is about ¼ mile from my house.  I believe LPS and LPN have listened to the residents and have placed buffers and large lots on S. Tanner, Lake Pickett and 419 and when complete, the residents who live there will not even know there is a community inside the property.  The alternative is to piecemeal the property with many small applications submitted to planning and who knows what could happen.  There might even be a strip mall on S. Tanner as there is right behind O’Berry Hoover  Road.  I think they call it “Waterford Lakes”.  This is the time to do this right and plan this community as one.
  • I also believe these planned developments will allow the county to more easily control the environmental impact to the community and protect the Econ basin again through responsible planned development.  Again, small developments cannot possible be controlled as easily as one very large one.

Please approve these applications to move through transmittal so East Orange County can move forward and close this chapter on the Lake Pickett properties and also begin the road repairs we so desperately need in East Orange County.

Sincerely,

RJ Mueller

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Traffic in East Orange County

6/16/2015 – Orange County has a 1.4 billion dollar deficit for road improvements

Fred Brummer was a Board of County Commissioner who is now on the Charter Review Commission. In this video he is talking about the state of Orange County when it comes to infrastructure and how there is a 1.4 billion dollar deficient for road improvements that are unfunded. He is right on target and we need to do something to raise that money to fix our roads. He thinks we are on the edge of cataclysm with our transportation situation.

He said a penny sales tax will generate between 330 – 380 million dollars a year. If the people could vote for a sales tax for 4 years it would bring in the money needed to fix the roads.

I am in agreement with him. We should ask this to be put on the ballot and allow the public to vote. I will be going to the next charter review commission meeting to support his idea.

Hear what he has to say.

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Orange County Community Meeting

6/4/2015 – What I thought of the 3rd Lake Pickett Meeting

This is what I wrote on Facebook.  See below what I wanted to write.


AT THE COMMUNITY MEETING I DIDN’T HEAR ONE SOLUTION FROM THE AUDIENCE ON HOW TO FIX THE TRAFFIC! JUST A LOT OF COMPLAINING.

All I heard was make the developers go away. It seems that contempt for developers, county staff and our elected officials has superseded common sense.

For a minute, let’s pretend the developers don’t exist and they are not part of our traffic problem so get the signs that say 15,000 more cars on the road out of your head.

I don’t think anyone will say that traffic is fine. Traffic is bad and will only get worse. We have been complaining about it for years, right?

We have been concerned over police, fire and EMT response time. Concerned with long commute times that will only get worse. Concerned about school buses getting kids to school safely. When did all that evaporate and traffic is no longer a concern?

At the meeting I heard, go away, we are fine out here. Everyone has been so worked up over these developments that we have lost sight of the problem. Think about this instead. Renzo Nastasi, the traffic manager, said all the roads will fail by 2030 with red lines on every road, right? McCulloch, N. Tanner, Lake Pickett, S. Tanner, 419, Hwy 50 and Woodbury. The county must fix failing roads. It is their job whether we like it or not. And just fixing Hwy 50 is not going to work. The traffic on the county roads is here to stay. I think once we accept that cold hard fact, then we can move forward.

Do you really think 6 laning Hwy 50 is going to make all the traffic problem go away?
Do you think the county can let these roads fail?
Do you really think that they are just going to go away and let us live in this traffic nightmare?

I challenge everyone reading this to think clearly and try to help solve the problem. This is your time to provide input because there will come a time when it will be fixed regardless of what anyone thinks. The county has to do its job, they have to maintain the roads to a standard and trust me when I say, they will come in and 4 lane roads to provide more capacity for cars to move.

WE DO NOT HAVE A TIME MACHINE TO WARP BACK 20 YEARS AND MAKE IT ALL GO WAY.

Traffic is here to stay and it is the county’s job to ensure we have an infrastructure in place to move transit.

In my next post I will tell you my view of the developers and where they fit in my head.


This is what I wrote first.  I think it is far more entertaining but a bit over the top so I will keep it buried down here for posterity sake.

The Lake Pickett Community meeting was a runaway freight train fueled by a mob ramped up with false pre-programmed images of disingenuous developers and untrustworthy government officials whose sole intent is to steal the rural area.  The tone of a meeting was set when the first speaker approached the mic and continued throughout the night with ranting, raving, heckling and cheering and doing all kinds of things 19 years olds high on pot would do at a Metallica concert.  We might as well have been in Baltimore a few weeks ago the way this crowd acted.  The tone was set long before walking into the room.  As soon as I left my house heading to the meeting I was greeted by propaganda signs littered everywhere attempting to instill fear in my heart.  15,000 more cars on the road they read.

Anyone who might have said anything in favor of these developments probably thought twice about speaking in front of this contentious pack of rowdies.  A couple of people tried and were heckled back into their seats.  This wasn’t a community meeting.  It was a rant where adrenaline and emotion ruled logic and reason.

This was a sorry display of humanity.  It was just short of a reversion to pitchforks and lynch mobs.  Some even resorted to personal attacks on our elected official by trying to use political affiliation and where the person lived against the man while many attacked a county employee and one blatantly called him a liar.

And all for what.  Nothing because the future is here.  What do you think is going to happen?  Do you really think with traffic this bad the county is going to just walk away and leave the roads as they are today?  Sorry, folks, it is way too late for that.  The chickens are lose and running amuck and you aren’t getting them back in the coop.  As much as you want to warp back 20 years and stop change from happening the future is here.  How can I be so sure?  Level of Service (LOS), that’s how.  Everyone was too busy trying to find thing to attack in Renzo’s presentation no one bothered to try to understand what Renzo was trying to say.  Let me say it very clearly.  With OR WITHOUT these developments by 2030 ALL THESE ROAD ARE RED, overcapacity, too many cars, gridlock, nowhere to go, stuck in traffic …….. BELOW THE REQUIRED LOS.  Should I go on, how clear can I make this?  THE COUNTY ISN’T ALLOWED to let the roads drop below a certain LOS.  It is not the county’s choice to make.  While everyone is beating their chests like a bunch of drunk gorillas, the county is doing the job we are paying them to do and getting flogged at the whipping post for doing it.  You can be mad at me, unlike me on Facebook or whatever you want to do but someone has to stand up and tell you the cold hard facts.  Traffic is at a point where it must be fixed and the county is going to fix it with OR WITHOUT these developments. THEY HAVE TO!  It may not be next year or the year after that but before 2030 these roads will be fixed and planning has or will start soon if it hasn’t already.  The developers make it easier because they help fund it.  But come hell or high water, these roads will be fixed.  You can take that to the bank.

One more thing, this mob mentality isn’t going to get away with this down at the chambers.  This ranting and raving is not allowed.  They don’t even allow cheers.  Fair warning.

http://www.orangecountyfl.net/portals/0/library/traffic-transportation/docs/transportationelement.pdf

 

 

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Roadway Agreements

5/30/2015 – How do Impact Fees and Road Agreements really work

There seems to be a misconception on how Impact Fees work as well as Roadway Agreements.  Some think that the developer ends up paying nothing or very little.  I have found this to be very far from the truth.  I hope this blog helps clear this up.

It would be absolutely absurd to think that the developer will get a free pass when the county is relying heavily on the developer to fund the roadway especially in the case of Lake Pickett.  It is also preposterous to think that the county and developers will enter into a roadway agreement and spends thousands of dollars and time to draft it only to give it all back!  There is so much attention on this now that if this is approved for transmittal and ultimately adoption every bit of money available will be funneled to these roads for improvements.  We have seen to that already with the signs and attendance at the meetings.  I think it is top priority down at the county right now and the iron is red hot thanks to us.

I think a lengthy explanation is in order.

How are impact fees used?
Impact fees are set using the transportation impact fee schedule. and are currently at $3,761 per single family detached home.  So let’s do a little math.  2,256 units for LPS and 1,999 units for LPN times $3,761 = $16.003,005 for roads.   These fees go into a pot that can be used anywhere in the county and have most definitely been used elsewhere and not on our roads.  Considering the “unwritten taboo rule” that has dominated this area for years and years there is no question they have been used elsewhere.  In case you are wondering what the “unwritten taboo rule” is, it is that there is a sort of verbal agreement that no development occur east of the Econ.  This “rule” has been in effect for many many years and is why we are so far behind the curve in terms of road improvements.  With the fever pitch of the residents over the years demanding no change to the rural area, there have been no road improvements so the impact fee money from sub-divisions that have popped up along N. Tanner and other sub-divisions just west of the Econ as well as the “entitlements” of Corner Lakes and Cypress Lakes has been spent in other areas of Orange County because the residents effectively didn’t want it spent here.  This money is irretrievable.

How much will the developers pay in the case of Lake Pickett?
A single family detached home has a fee of $3,761.  This is non-refundable and is paid by the builder.  There are certain credits that can be applied but I think it is a stretch to assume that the entire amount paid will be offset by credits.  In the case of LPS that has 2,256 units, they would end up paying $8,484, 816 in impact fees.  LPN has 1,999 units and will pay $7,518,239.  And this does not include the commercial impact fees LPS will pay so their number is higher.  I have heard that LPN and LPS are not asking for credits because they understand the road situation.  So just in impact fees alone, LPN and LPS will pay close to $20 million that will not be refunded.  Here is the caveat about this money.  It can be used anywhere in the county.  It is up to us to demand it be used in and around these properties.  I know the developers want the impact fees used for these roadways also.  We haven’t even talked about the additional money the developers are going to pay which is part of the roadway agreement and is called proportional share agreement.  Read about it below.  It is very significant in terms of dollars and will probably add another $20+ million to the pot for roads.  The key to this is to see if with all monies combined we have enough to fix the roads.

Here are the cold hard facts when it comes to the roads.
If nothing happens out here and we cannot find a way to fix this, we will be left holding the bag and traffic will get much much worse and something will have to be done.  What, I am not sure but if you want any say in how this is done, now is the time.  If you wait until it is too late then it will most likely be dictated to you and you may not like what happens.

I believe as residents we will have to make a choice.  Do you want the roads fixed or do you want the area to remain “rural”.  If you want the area to remain rural then you cannot complain about traffic to the county anytime in the future and you surely will not have a say in what is done when the county is forced by law to fix what it can when roads fail.  The county is required by law to maintain the roads to a certain standard.  I want this to move forward so we have a say in how these roads are fixed and not live in this problem for many years to come.  I am very tired of watching the never-ending stream of cars on McCulloch Road.


Here is an explanation on how impact fees work from someone very close to the action.  This is what is really happening behind the scenes.  Sometimes just talking to people who actually know what is going on and getting the straight facts is the best thing to do.  Enjoy!

The big picture is that the developers will pay tens of millions of dollars to build roads.  The “typical” development merely pays so-called impact fees which are a per house or per square foot (for non-residential)  charge to fund transportation capital costs (i.e. roads).  Sometimes a development is located where one or more of the “significantly” impacted roads is not operating at the County’s adopted level of service.  This is the case, obviously, around the Lake Pickett properties.  Such other developments may elect to pay a so-called “proportionate (or “prop”) share and move forward with development.  Such developers, per state law, get a credit against the transportation impact fees the County will charge at the time the actual building permit is pulled.  Such developers merely “pay and go” and never have to worry about whether the County actually uses the money to improve the failing road.  In other words, their right to begin development is not tied to actual road improvements but merely the payment of the money. 

The general game plan for the Lake Pickett projects is that the developers will pay a combination of impact fees and extra dollars.  By way of example and not necessarily exact numbers, it is estimated that based on current impact fee rates, LPS will pay around $8MM – $10MM in impact fees.  LPS’s dollar specific commitment to build off-site roads such as SR 50 might be $20MM (again, this is a number merely for example purposes).  Accordingly, LPS would pay about $12MM in extraordinary monies to fund road improvement costs.  This is true of LPN also.  The catch will be that portions of the proposed developments will be tied to certain of the road improvements assigned to the developments.  As noted above, this is not typically required of other developments.  This is very significant because, according to some in the community, roads promised in connection with previously approved developments didn’t materialize and the impact fees and any other prop share fees paid by the developers essentially vanished and must have been used by the County elsewhere.  LPS and LPN has as much interest in seeing that the County spends the money here as does the community.  It would be a lot easier for the developer and less risky to simply cut a check and go.  But that would not fix our problem.

The developers are not asking for any credits for land that might be needed in order to build a road improvement.  They both know that they need some money to build roads.   If somehow the developers are “crediting” against these needed funds, they  wouldn’t have the money necessary to build the roads.  This makes no sense, obviously.

As for the proposed funding plan for SR 50 specifically, through the developer negotiations with FDOT, they are willing to refund to the County the money the developers spend on SR 50 (today’s FDOT estimate is $16MM).  This is a HUGE “get” for everyone because we’ve essentially created another source of funds to help build roads in the area.  It is envisioned (of course, the County has to agree) that the terms of the LPS funding agreement will provide that the net funds available to the County will be immediately directed to construct another identified road improvement on the improvements map.  Essentially, all of us (i.e. the community, developers and the County) are getting what is called a “twofer”, meaning that we will get 2 improved roads as a result of LPS’s initial funding of 1 road.”

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