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Real estate dispute puts Crestview development on hold

Serving Families Throughout Fort Walton Beach

Residents in the Crestview area may be interested to hear of a recent interruption to plans to develop land near State Road 85. The planned development would include two residential developments in addition to a retail and restaurant center with chain restaurants. However, construction on the planned development has been put on hold due to a real estate dispute between the developer and city over sewer impact fees.

Apparently, the developer claims the city promised that the sewer impact fees would be waived. However, the city alleges that waiving the sewer impact fees is just not possible, since according to Florida law, sewer impact fees are "pledged revenues to the state for environmental protection."

The plan for this development was announced in May 2012 and involves the city of Crestview and a national residential developer as well as Beach Community Bank which owns the land for the proposed development.

The development would include a single family subdivision as well as an assisted living facility. Even though construction was set to begin this week and the shopping center development is already under contract, the project is on hold.

The sewer impact fee arose in the first place because the current sewer lines are not large enough to support the proposed development. So, the bank and developers were set up to pay for the installation of a larger sewer line "in exchange for a tax cap." Waiving the sewer impact fees altogether was allegedly not discussed.

City Council members want to work through this dispute as quickly as possible so that construction can begin, although there are still issues to work through. When a real estate dispute like this one arises, both sides may be quite frustrated. It is important to resolve the dispute quickly, so that the project is not delayed further.

Source: Crestview News Bulletin, "Crestview retail, restaurant development halted after confusion," Brian Hughes, March 1, 2013

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