Commission tables decision on more incentives for Ravaudage

Commissioners questioned whether they should reimburse the mixed-use development for road, drainage and sidewalk improvements

Nov. 10, 2023

By Beth Kassab

Commissioners voted unanimously to table a request from the developer of Ravaudage for $300,000 in reimbursements for road, sidewalk and drainage improvements.

Mayor Phil Anderson said he did not have all the information he needed to make a decision.

“I think, normally, we use reimbursements as incentives to get something the city otherwise would not have,” Anderson said. “I’m not sure I understand the extent of the premium the city is getting in exchange for the provision being proposed.”

The Ravaudage development on the corner of U.S. 17-92 and Lee Road is already entitled to as much as $1.2 million over 10 years in city reimbursements for improvements to city right-of-way.

The new reimbursement request is tied to construction on sections of Lewis Drive and Bennett Avenue, which were annexed into the city in 2020 and so weren’t part of the original 2017 agreement with the developer.

Multimodal Transportation Impact Fees paid by businesses within Ravaudage is expected to raise more money than the reimbursement amount estimated at $301,327. Impact fees are paid by developers to cities or counties  as part of the development approval process. The dollars are typically used to offset additional costs to local governments to be caused by the new homes or businesses such as police, fire, sewer or schools.

Developer Dan Bellows was in the audience, but did not address the commission.

Several commissioners cited the Whole Foods plaza and noted the developer in that case did not receive reimbursements for making road, stormwater and sidewalk improvements.

“I just think that the citizens and the government has been pretty generous toward this,” said Commissioner Todd Weaver. “If another developer came and asked for this, I don’t know if this commission would say yes to this.”

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