Horry County Council is considering a significant increase to impact fees, which developers pay to offset the cost of new infrastructure and services. The current impact fee for a new single-family home is $1,236, but the new proposal would increase it to $5,653. That's an increase of over 450%. The impact fee for a multi-family unit would also increase substantially, from $1,031 to $3,861.
The proposed increase in impact fees for commercial development is even more dramatic. The current rate for retail space is $1,797 per 1,000 square feet, but the new proposal would increase it to $10,140 per 1,000 square feet. That's an increase of over 500%. The impact fee for office space would increase from $702 per 1,000 square feet to $4,485 per 1,000 square feet, and the impact fee for lodging would increase from $738 per room to $3,463 per room. Industrial rates would increase to a maximum of $1,328 per 1,000 square feet.
The impact fee ordinance passed first reading earlier in the summer and is scheduled for second reading on October 3.
The proposed increase in impact fees has drawn mixed reactions from the community. Some residents support the increase, arguing that it is necessary to keep up with the demands of growth. Others oppose the increase, arguing that it will make it more difficult and expensive to develop in Horry County.
Developers are particularly concerned about the proposed increase in impact fees. They argue that the increase will make it more difficult to build affordable housing and businesses in Horry County. They also worry that the increase will drive development to other counties with lower impact fees.
The outcome of the impact fee debate will have a significant impact on the future of development in Horry County. If the proposed increase is approved, it is likely to slow the pace of development and make it more expensive to build in the county. However, if the increase is rejected, the county may struggle to keep up with the demands of growth.