Transportation impact fees will be refunded to property owners in lower Dorchester County

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCBD) – Property owners in parts of lower unincorporated Dorchester County will soon be getting a refund for transportation impacts fees after a resident filed a lawsuit earlier this year.

The lawsuit claimed that the county failed to spend the money it collected through the fees on road projects.

The impact fee ordinance was passed in 2010 by Dorchester County Council and was imposed on new development in the county for several years. State law requires that the money be spent within three years of the date that it was scheduled to be spent. County Council agreed to refund all of the fees last week.

County Council Chairman Jay Byars believes that the impact fee ordinance does not work.

“Unfortunately the way that the state has passed the law in such a way that you have to spend the money in a certain amount of time, you can only spend it on projects that aren’t currently identified as problem projects which makes it very difficult and then the way that the monies are collected heavily penalizes the business and commercial community which we really want,” said Byars.

The fees will be refunded with interest to the property owner of record within three months. Refunds will vary based on the property.

“You may have a business that gets back $ 40,000, you might have a homeowner that gets back $700, you might have another business that gets back $15,000,” said Byars.

The councilman said about $3 million dollars were collected over six years from the impact fees.

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