A development impact fee is a one-time payment imposed by a local government for new development’s proportionate share of the capital cost of infrastructure. The development impact fees are collected from new construction at the time a new building permit is issued. Beaufort County conducted a development impact fee study in July 2020 and County Council adopted the recommended development impact fee rates for northern and southern Beaufort County as a result of that study. The study demonstrated that as a result of projected land uses, densities, and population growth estimates over the next 10 years within northern Beaufort County, there will be a need for expanded parks and recreation facilities, library facilities and transportation improvements to support such projected new growth and maintain a reasonable level of service standards.
The State of South Carolina grants the power for cities and counties to collect development impact fees on new development. Beaufort County adopted a development impact fee ordinance for the collection of parks and recreation, transportation, and library impact fees on May 22, 2023. The City of Beaufort entered into an intergovernmental agreement with the County on May 24, 2023, for the collection, on the County’s behalf, of development impact fees for parks and recreation, transportation, and library services. The collection of the new impact fees went into effect on June 5, 2023.
Separately, the City adopted a development impact fees ordinance for fire services on April 13, 2020. This addressed substantial growth and new construction within the municipality, which requires additional fire services infrastructure capacity and maintenance. Those fees went to effect January 1, 2021.