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SHALLOTTE—Town aldermen have decided to revise the sewer transmission fee policy that developers have been complaining about for months.
Last Wednesday, the board instructed town administrator Paul Sabiston to prepare a resolution to be adopted at next week’s pre-agenda meeting. The new policy would require developers to pay $60,000 for 60 units at the time they request preliminary plat approval and another $60,000 when they start the next phase.
“It prevents somebody with 200 units asking to pay for 10 now and the others later,” Sabiston explained.
If the applicant is developing less than 60 units, the full amount must be paid at the time the preliminary plat is approved.
In the town’s previous policy, the developer was required to pay the sewer transmission fees for the entire project at the time of preliminary plat approval, although the town only issued permits for 60.
Aldermen say the new policy is fairer.
“What I support about it in particular is that it ties a benefit and a detriment together,” said Alderman Walt Eccard. “It strikes the right balance for working with developers and protecting the town’s interests.”
Alderman Alan Lewis agreed.
“I believe it’s only fair that people should have to pay for what they’re getting—not pay for what the town is willing to allocate to them,” he said. “If they’re going to get 60 lots, they should pay $60,000 worth.”
At the pre-agenda meeting, the board will decide whether to place a time limit on the sewer fees.
The issue has caused some contention over the past few months, particularly during the town’s dealings with Adam Lisk, developer of the Sea Wynde Plantation development planned for Cumbee Road.
Last October, Sabiston recommended the board not approve Phase III of the project unless the fees were paid in full, and noted in a memo to the board that the developer had not paid the plan review or sewer transmission recovery fees for Phase I of the project.
The next month, Lisk told aldermen he had not anticipated having to pay the sewer transmission recovery fees upfront, and he’d never dealt with a town that required the payment upfront and requested a workshop meeting.
Town aldermen met with Lisk in a work session, but no agreement was reached. Finally, last month, the board decided to an interim agreement requiring the $60,000 for 60 units while the board discussed a permanent policy.