Ocean Springs Developers Oppose Additional Fees - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

01/08/04

Ocean Springs Developers Oppose Additional Fees

That fee would charge developers 953 dollars for water improvements for every lot they develop.

Randy Wrigley is an Ocean Springs developer. His Waterford Village is one of four developments being hit with the new fee.

"It's very discriminatory and it hurts the homebuyer because if you add 5-6000 dollars to the cost of development of the lot, by the time it gets to the homebuyer it's 7 or 8000 and statistics show that there's tremendous numbers of people eliminated from being able to buy a home," said Wrigley.

Even though aldermen unanimously voted for the fee, one says this is just an extra fee in case the controversial impact fees are deemed illegal in court.

"I'm strictly against it and yes I did vote for it but it was strictly, I guess you might want to say politics. I'm not for it. I'm not totally against it because any developer out there will pay an assessment," said alderman-at-large Danny Jalanavich.

City planner Donovan Scruggs defends the new fee. He insists it's all about the taxpayers.

"Our decision was not based on is this going to be good for the developer. It was based on is it good for taxpaying citizens of Ocean Springs," said Scruggs.

Developer Wrigley says that's wrong and his next development won't be in Ocean Springs.

"The only reason that I'm here today developing this property is because we already had it in inventory and when I finish up with the properties I have in Ocean Springs, if their current system is still in place, I would not desire to buy more property or to develop anything else here. It's just too costly and too difficult," said Wrigley.

The impact fees as well as the new water capacity fees are currently being challenged by developers in court.

By Karla Redditte

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