NEWBERRY – The Newberry City Commission on March 13 approved impact fees based on a recent study of fees focused on impacts to public buildings and multi-modal transportation. The decision was based on study results of fees for new construction as well as impact fees imposed by other Florida cities and Alachua County.

The purpose of impact fees is to pay for future growth as a one-time fee collected for new construction. To offset the impact to developers who may already be in the process of developing residential or commercial properties. Newberry’s impact fees will not apply to a developer who has already had construction plans approved by the City.

The Commission unanimously approved the ordinance on first reading at 80 percent of the maximum amount listed by the impact fee study. The fees will be increased by 10 percent every year for the next two years. This item will be heard again on second reading at the March 27 City Commission meeting.

In other business, the Commission considered three properties planned as part of a future environmental park. This issue underwent extended discussion at the March 6 Planning and Zoning Board meeting. However, only one citizen expressed concern at the March 13 City Commission meeting.

The Commission approved Ordinance 2023-09, a large-scale Future Land Use Map Amendment, consisting of two parcels totaling 96 +/- acres. The amendment will be transmitted for expedited review with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. Once the state returns the amendment, usually within 30 days, the City Commission will hear the item again on second reading. If approved by the Commission again, the ordinance will change the future land use classification from Agriculture to Public.

The property is intended to be used as part of a development earmarked for expansion of the municipal wastewater treatment facility, an educational wetland exhibit and retention area, a county/regional household hazardous waste disposal facility, a firefighter training facility, a potential composting site and a small-farm meat processing facility.

The site is located on the east side of County Road 336/Southwest 266th Street, between Southwest 18th Road and Southwest 30th Avenue and is addressed as 2105, 2429 and 2617 Southwest 266th Street.

The Commission also approved related Ordinance No. 2023-10, an amendment to the Future Land Use Plan Map to change the classification from Agriculture to Public, on the 2.5 +/- acres, currently used as the municipal cemetery.

The third ordinance, Ordinance 2023-11, to rezone the total 217 +/- acres from Agricultural (A) and Residential, Single-Family (RSF-2) to Public Facilities (PF) was also approved by the Commission.

The 217 acres includes the 96-acre site identified for the wastewater treatment facility expansion and future environmental park and the remaining 121 acres that are the existing municipal cemetery and existing wastewater treatment facility. Final approval of this ordinance is based on final approval of the two prior amendments.

Ordinance 2023-13 was approved on first reading and is an application by the City to amend the Official Zoning Atlas by changing the zoning designation from Residential, Single-Family (RSF-2) to Public Facilities (PF) on 4.3 +/- acres located at 120 N.W. 260th Street. This is the Public Works facility, and the change aligns the use of the property with the proper zoning classification.

The Commission unanimously approved an application by Marcus Hayes and Carlos Gonzalez of Always Bet on Yourself Franchise, LLC, agents for the Ross family, to conduct an outdoor concert and festival, the proceeds of which are to benefit the Kids in Positive Places charitable organization. The event address is 304 S.W. 174th Street and will encompass several parcels owned by the Ross family. The concert/festival will operate from 1 – 10 p.m. on Sunday, April 9.

Hayes provided a parking and traffic circulation sketch and said he will be contracting with the Alachua County Sheriff for traffic control on Newberry Road. He plans to have a dedicated staff on-site to direct parking and will hire private security.

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