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City of Jacksonville

Recently, the City of Jacksonville received approximately $159 million under the Federal CARES Act due to impacts from the Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19”). As a result of these dollars, an additional stimulus package was approved on April 27, 2020, by the Jacksonville City Council under Ordinance 2020-235 (“Ordinance”). The Ordinance was signed into law by Mayor Curry on April 28, 2020. The Ordinance provides for, among other items, the temporary waiver of certain City of Jacksonville development fees for up to six (6) months from the Ordinance effective date (or October 28, 2020), provided the City Council does not revoke the temporary fee waiver at an earlier time due to the COVID-19 emergency status (“Temporary Waiver Time Period”). Below is an overview of the applicable temporary development fee waivers.

1. Mobility Fees

  • Mobility fees may either be fully (100%) or partially (50%) waived under the Ordinance.
  • To fully (100%) waive the mobility fee, a developer or landowner (“Applicant”) must within the Temporary Waiver Time Period
    • obtain a mobility fee certificate
    • have final construction and/or engineering plans (10-set) for non-single family projects or building permits for single family residential projects eligible for approval (“Approval”).
  • In the event an Applicant is unable to obtain the applicable Approval within the Temporary Waiver Time Period, the Applicant may obtain a 50% waiver of its mobility fee if
    • the applicable Approval is obtained within three (3) months after the termination of the Temporary Waiver Time Period (January 28, 2021) and
    • pays 50% of the mobility fee set forth in the mobility fee certificate.
  • As a condition to receiving either the full (100%) or partial (50%) mobility fee temporary waivers, an Applicant must obtain a Certificate of Occupancy or Final Inspection for
    • projects with a value of less than $1 million within 24 months of the Ordinance effective date (April 27, 2022) or
    • non single family residential projects that exceed a value of $1 million within 36 months of the Ordinance effective date (April 27, 2023).

      If Certificates of Occupancy or Final Inspection are not obtained within the time frames above, the entire amount of the mobility fee is immediately due, and the City will stop issuing Certificates of Occupancy or Final Inspections for the development until the fee is paid. The project valuation is generally defined in the Ordinance.

In addition to the above temporary Mobility Fee waivers, the City Council is posed to vote on updating the adopted Mobility Fee which may result in an increase in Mobility Fees for certain projects. It is unclear at this time whether the City Council and Mayor will move forward with the update during the COVID-19 state of emergency.

2. Miscellaneous Development Fees

  • Other various building, land use and zoning application and development permit fees may also be temporarily waived for Applicants that apply for certain approvals/permits within the Temporary Waiver Time Period.
  • The below is a broad sample of the development fees waived. For a complete list, please see the Ordinance.
    • New building
    • Site clearing
    • Electrical
    • Plumbing
    • Mechanical
    • Plat review
    • Site plan/engineering plan (10-set) review
    • ROW work
    • Administrative deviations
    • Planning Director written interpretations
    • Rezonings, including PUDs
    • Zoning exceptions, variances, waivers
    • Certificate of Use
    • Certain Tree Removal
    • Comprehensive Plan Amendments
    • Certain solid waste disposal tipping fees
    • Certain fire and rescue plan review

      Note that if an Applicant applies for any building, land use and zoning and/or development permit application due to a violation of the Ordinance Code, it will still be subject to the applicable fee and no fee waiver will apply to cure a violation.

The Mayor’s Administration is undertaking steps to assist in streamlining the building and development permit process to help ensure the realization by Applicants of the applicable fee waivers within the Temporary Waiver Time Period.

St. Johns County

The St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners approved Resolution 2020–147 on April 28, 2020, which reduces by 30% certain building, fire and growth management fees. The partial fee reduction will go into effect May 1, 2020 and expire August 4, 2020 and applies to new applications submitted during this time period.

If you have any questions, please contact Gunster attorney Staci Rewis. For more information relating to COVID-19, please see Gunster’s COVID-19 Resources and Insights Page.

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This publication is for general information only. It is not legal advice, and legal counsel should be contacted before any action is taken that might be influenced by this publication.


About Gunster

Gunster, Florida’s law firm for business, provides full-service legal counsel to leading organizations and individuals from its 12 offices statewide. Established in 1925, the firm has expanded, diversified and evolved, but always with a singular focus: Florida and its clients’ stake in it. A magnet for business-savvy attorneys who embrace collaboration for the greatest advantage of clients, Gunster’s growth has not been at the expense of personalized service but because of it. The firm serves clients from its offices in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Stuart, Tallahassee, Tampa, The Florida Keys, Vero Beach, and its headquarters in West Palm Beach. With nearly 200 attorneys and 200 committed support staff, Gunster is ranked among the National Law Journal’s list of the 500 largest law firms and has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Diverse Law Firms by Law360. More information about its practice areas, offices and insider’s view newsletters is available at www.gunster.com.

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