New structure makes it easier for phased developments
Developers will have more time to get their projects completed, after county commissioners amended their water policy Monday, July 11. Commissioners extended the number of days a development has before all permits have to be submitted. Previously, all permits and documentation had to be complete and turned in to the county within 270 days. Under the amendment, only 25 percent of the required permits would have to be turned in by that timeframe.
“The previous water allocation had capped individual projects at 20,000 gallons per day, but in (the March amendment), that jumped to 60,000 per day,” Public Works Director Ed Goscicki said. After that changed, several larger developments came to the county, asking for some help in meeting the requirements, Goscicki said.
“When you jump (to 60,000), you start getting into phased development,” Goscicki said, adding that in such cases, developers wouldn’t be able to secure all their permits within the 270 day timeframe.
Instead, under the new plan, developers would be able to move forward with just the first 25 percent worth of permits secured. After that’s approved, they would have 180 days to start construction, with a maximum five year window to get the total project finished.
“We’re holding it for you a total of five years, that’s it,” Goscicki said. After that period, if the development is not complete, the unused water capacity would go back to the county, with the developer going to the back of the line.
In March, commissioners freed up 445,000 gallons of wastewater capacity per day for nonresidential projects. Part of that capacity came from failed projects that didn’t meet the county’s permitting requirements and the complete postponement of other projects in the pipeline. Of that portion, 45,000 gallons per day has been allocated to Tap Only projects across the county. The remaining 400,000 gallons will be available for commercial projects. The larger projects applying for permits would have to be in constant construction during that five year period, to keep their permits.