View Full Version : North Port city plan

10-31-2007, 03:57 PM
North Port city plan to spur development not getting many takers


NORTH PORT -- The city is a week into its latest move to spur the ailing construction industry, and so far it appears little has changed.

On Oct. 23, North Port changed its impact fee policy to collect the money when projects are finished instead of up front when permits are issued.

The change cuts down on the amount of money builders have to spend up front in the construction process, which in the case of commercial construction can be tens of thousands of dollars.

Despite the change, builders submitted only six new home permit applications in the past week, hardly a stellar figure considering that North Port issued 33 home permits in September, when the fees were being paid up front.

Lawrence Anderson, executive vice president of the Home Builders Association of Sarasota County, said he is not surprised.

"The volume of building is way down," he said.

North Port is not alone in looking for ways to boost building, which has been the city's major industry since the population explosion of recent years.

In Charlotte County, the impact fees for new homes have been rolled back to 1998 levels. North Port, likewise, is in the process of reversing an Oct. 1 fee increase. That rollback, which will reduce fees for a new house by about 54 percent, will go into effect Christmas Eve.

Tony Linton, sales manager of Premier Homes in North Port, said the moves in Charlotte County might pay off. :shock:

"We've had no action in North Port," he said. "But the Charlotte County rollbacks, that's where the action is going to be."

Four builders put in applications in North Port this past week, including Centex Homes, one of the few companies that has continued to put up North Port houses in the downturn.

According to Centex sales and marketing director David Lepow, the market in North Port is "slow but steady."

The collection delay now in effect could leave North Port waiting a year or longer to collect fees. The delayed collections, combined with December's planned fee rollback, will cost North Port an estimated $11 million.

The rule change puts North Port in line with Manatee and Charlotte counties and the city of Sarasota. These governments collect fees either before final inspections or when certificates of occupancy are issued.

Sarasota County collects some fees up front and some fees at the end, while Venice collects impact fees when permits are issued, at the beginning of a project.

The building slump has stretched on for more than a year in North Port. The 33 new home permits issued last month represent a steep decline from the 172 permits per month the city averaged in 2006.


11-02-2007, 08:23 PM
Another genious! A problem that plaques the entire United States is only limited to North Port port. You are pathetic!