School Mitigation Fee Ordinance Expiring Next Month

Frederick County Council discusses that on Tuesday.

School mitigation fees are coming to an end in Frederick County. The law which set them up expires on July 20th, 2016.

But the county still has agreements with developers who have or will be paying those fees. Assistant County Attorney Kathy Mitchell briefed the County Council on Tuesday on an ordinance which continues those fees for some developers after July 20th. “There are going to be 40 or more developments that are still eligible to use it because we’ve already entered into an agreement to use that option,” she says.

Mitigation fees were enacted by the last Board of County Commissioners. Under that ordinance, residential developers whose projects fail the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance test could pay the fee. This was alternative to waiting for the development to come into compliance with the APFO requirements which held up construction.

Mitchell says the fees will remain an option until July 20th, and the Council can still decide what those fees will be “If you were doing it after July 20th, you’d need a new bill,” she says. “If you wanted to do it before July 20th, you could extend it.”

No action was taken on that legislation.

But Council agreed to discuss the pros and cons of mitigation fees during a future workshop. That motion was made by Councilman Billy Shreve. “There are lots of good things about the mitigation fee. So I think we should at least talk about and see if there’s something better than an impact fee,” he said. Shreve was on the Board of County Commissioners which approved the mitigation fee.

The Council also agreed to talk about the county’s contract to re-acquire control of Citizens Care and Rehabilitation and the Montevue Assisted Living Centers from Aurora Holdings, along with proposals on what to do about derelict properties. No dates were set.