FAQs Related to Public School Concurrency
1. Isn’t it too late for public school concurrency?
It is true that Broward County is close to built out, and that public school concurrency may have a greater impact in counties that are experiencing high growth. However, public school concurrency will help prevent new development from exacerbating the overcrowding of schools in areas of the County where school capacity is currently unavailable. In addition, as redevelopment accelerates in Broward County, public school concurrency will enable the School District to plan for the availability of public school facilities to serve the anticipated growth.
2. What is the potential impact of public school concurrency law to:
For most developers, it will be business as usual, especially in this time of declining enrollment, because the majority of the public schools in Broward County have excess capacity. However, if a developer wants to build in an area where there is no available school capacity, such project may be denied on the basis of public school concurrency. However, the developer still has options that may enable the project to proceed. For example, the developer may propose proportionate share mitigation, which essentially means that the developer pays for his/her proportionate impact on the school system or the developer can wait until capacity is available knowing that public school concurrency requires that the School District must achieve and maintain the adopted level of service standard (LOS) of 100% of a school’s capacity within a five-year period.
The Community? Back To The Top Of The Page
Public school concurrency law elevates the availability of permanent capacity to the top of the District’s list of priorities by requiring that the School District achieve and maintain the adopted LOS at each District School. The intent of this law ensures the community that the School District, County, Municipalities and Developers will work together to make sure that seats will always be available to support new development. However, the District is currently coping with budget shortfalls and geographic capacity imbalances while trying to meet the mandates of public school concurrency law. As such, the boundary process and programming of schools may be affected as the District works to achieve and maintain the adopted LOS at each school predominantly with excess capacity from the under enrolled schools.
3. Could my child be reassigned to another school because of public school concurrency?
Generally, when new residential developments are built, students anticipated from such developments are assigned to the school boundary serving the location of the development if the schools have capacity to accommodate the anticipated students. However, if the impacted school is determined to be over capacity, School Board policy requires that such students be assigned to the adjacent schools that have sufficient available capacity. Normally the adjacency allocation will not result in a boundary change; however in the advent of public school concurrency, it is a factor that the Board would consider during the boundary process. Thus, the school boundaries may be affected if the capacity deficiency persists at the school boundaries that are primarily impacted by the proposed development. Therefore, such scenario may result in a child being reassigned to another school.
4. How will public school concurrency impact the quality of my child’s education?
The adopted LOS used to implement public school concurrency establishes the maximum acceptable level of overcrowding at each District elementary, middle, and high school. Thus public school concurrency could indirectly improve the quality of a child’s education through the assurance that sufficient capacity will be available to accommodate students anticipated from proposed residential developments.
5. What are the consequences of not participating in the public school concurrency process?
Exemption from participating in the public school concurrency process is only granted by the State. Therefore, all non-exempt local governments are required to sign the Interlocal Agreement (ILA) and implement public school concurrency requirements. Therefore, failure to participate in the process will result in local governments being prohibited from adopting comprehensive plan amendments that increase residential density.
Per the ILA, local governments can not issue building permit for residential developments, if they are signatories to the ILA.
Local governments that violate the provisions contained in the ILA will be identified in the Annual Report regarding the implementation of the ILA that is issued by the Oversight Committee. The ILA requires that the annually issued report be provided to the School Board, Broward County, the 27 Municipal Signatories, and the public.
6. Will public school concurrency result in more portables at our schools?
If the Seconded Amended ILA is approved, as necessary, the specific number of portables needed to ensure that certain schools meet future LOS deadlines may be brought into such schools for that purpose. It should be noted that such exercises will be conducted as needed only during the timeframe specified in the Second Amended ILA for the use of portables.
7. At what point does the School District review for public school concurrency?
State law requires the review for public school concurrency be conducted at the Subdivision (Plats) and Site Plans or (Function Equivalent) phases of development review process.
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Amended Interlocal Agreement for Public School Facility Planning (ILA)
Pursuant to State Statute, the Agreement between the School Board of Broward County, Florida, Broward County, and 27 Municipalities, which addresses growth management issues and the provision and availability of public school facilities needed to serve students anticipated from proposed residential development.
The division or subdivision of a tract or parcel of land(s) into lot(s), block(s), etc.
Proportionate Share Mitigation
Proportionate share mitigation means when a developer pays the cost required to provide the permanent capacity needed to accommodate the student(s) anticipated from his/her proposed residential development after the School District has determined that permanent capacity is not available to accommodate such student(s).
The depiction of the location of improvements on a parcel of land which also contains all the information required by zoning ordinances.
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1. Can application /fees be submitted by mail?
Yes. In such situations, School District receipt confirming payment will be mailed to the appropriate contact person listed in the application.
2. What happens if the application fee check was issued for the incorrect amount?
School District staff will notify the applicant and advise that the appropriate fee must be paid before the submitted application can be considered complete and processed. This assumes that the rest of the information needed for the application has been submitted to the District.
3. How does one determine the status of submitted applications?
The status of submitted applications can be accessed via Growth Management.
4. What public school concurrency data should an applicant utilize to determine the availability of capacity at Concurrency Service Area(s) (CSA)?
5. Can an applicant request a concurrent review of a plat and site plan application?
No. The reason is if a residential development application must proceed through the plat and site plan development review phases, the review for public school concurrency determination can only be requested and initially conducted for the plat application. It is only after such a review is completed, and the plat application receives final approval from Broward County, and notice of such approval has been provided to the School District, before the applicant can request review of the site plan application for the subject development. Provided that there have been no changes to the initially reviewed residential type(s), number of unit(s), bedroom(s), the project(s) boundary or revision to a proposed mitigation option that was previously accepted by the School Board, the review would be subject only to the Vesting Verification Fee.
6. What projects are subject to the Vesting Verification Fee? Back To The Top Of The Page
Vesting Verification Fee only applies to the following residential development applications:
Any checked item listed under the Exemption Criteria in the Public School Impact Application (PSIA) Form. However, if a determination is made that a project, which has applied for exemption, is not exempt, then the application will be deemed incomplete until the appropriate fee is paid and any additional supporting documentation is provided.
A development initially reviewed for public school concurrency determination as a plat, which is being submitted as a site plan application, and which there have been no changes to the initially reviewed residential type(s), number of unit(s), bedroom(s), the project(s) boundary or revision to a proposed mitigation option that was previously accepted by the School Board
As applicable, regular application fees apply to all residential development applications listed under the Vesting Criteria in the PSIA Form.
7. What is the difference between a Preliminary and Final School Capacity Determination (SCAD) Letter?
A preliminary SCAD Letter is the initial report the District issues on a pertinent residential plat, site plan or functional equivalent application, which confirms that permanent capacity is available at impacted CSA(s) or school(s) to accommodate students anticipated from development proposed in the application, or that proportionate share mitigation has been proposed by the project’s applicant to mitigate the anticipated student impact, and subsequently such proposal has been accepted by the School Board.
A Final SCAD Letter is the report the District issues which indicates that permanent capacity is not available at the CSA(s) or school(s) impacted by a residential plat, site plan or functional equivalent application, or that is issued to indicate the vesting of the approved application and reservation of student station or seats for students anticipated from development proposed in the application. Final SCAD Letters are also issued for exempt and non-residential plat, site plan or functional equivalent applications.
8. What triggers proportionate share mitigation?
Proportionate share mitigation is triggered when developments proposed in a residential plat, site plan or functional equivalent application impacts CSA(s) or schools that are operating above the 110% LOS adopted in the ILA, and the School District has demonstrated that permanent capacity is not available at such CSA(s) or adjacent CSA(s) to accommodate students anticipated from the development.
9. What is the value of proportionate share mitigation?
The value of proportionate share mitigation is the deficit elementary, middle or high school students generated by development proposed in a residential plat, site plan or functional equivalent application multiplied by the corresponding Florida established Student Station Cost Factors (or cost per student station) plus the land impact cost, if any.
10. What is the minimum proportionate share mitigation?
The payment for one permanent or modular classroom.
11. What is the process for payment of mitigation?
It is preferable that applicants notify the Growth Management Department at 754-321-2177 to schedule payment of mitigation fees. If given prior notice, a planner will calculate the current amount due and prepare the necessary documents ahead of time. The applicant (or applicant agent) can pay mitigation fees via check directly to the School Board of Broward County, Florida at the Growth Management Department located on the 8th floor of the Kathleen C. Wright Administration Building located at 600 SE 3rd Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301. If the project is the subject of a Tri-Party Agreement, the developer pays the appropriate “cost per dwelling unit” amount directly to Broward County.
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CAPACITY ALLOCATION TEAM (CAT) QUESTIONS
1. What is CAT and its purpose?
CAT stands for Capacity Allocation Team. In compliance with State Statute, CAT’s purpose is to determine if capacity is available in adjacent Concurrency Service Areas (CSA) within the same School District Planning Area when the primarily impacted CSA lacks capacity needed to accommodate the new students generated by a residential project, and upon such determination subsequently allocates the needed capacity.
2. Who are the members of CAT?
At the minimum, the CAT shall consist of the CSA(s) Area Superintendent or designee; the Director, Growth Management Department or designee; the Director, School Boundaries Department or designee or in the event of departmental name changes, the directors or appointed administrators or designees of the succeeding departments whose membership and participation are vital to CAT functions.
3. How does the CAT process work?
CAT meets bi-weekly based on the following process:
Growth Management Department reviews the proposed residential development application to determine whether permanent capacity is available;
If it is determined capacity is not available based on the general process defined in the ILA, the application is scheduled on the CAT agenda;
Backup items are provided to the members and invitations sent to the applicant and the local government with jurisdiction over the project requesting their attendance;
Growth Management Department Staff provides an overview of the proposed development;
School Boundaries Department Staff provides vital information regarding the availability of the identified excess capacity;
CAT votes to allocate or not allocate the identified excess capacity for the project based on conclusions reached and the criteria contained in Policy 1161;
SCAD letter is issued reflecting the CAT determination with a copy sent to the applicant and as applicable to the County and the local government with jurisdiction over the project.
FAQ's Related to School Impact Fee Waivers
1. What projects qualify for school impact fee waiver requests?
Section 5-184(b)(4) of the Broward County Land Development Code (BCLDC) provides that the Broward County Commission may waive impact fees, upon request, for proposed residential developments that will provide affordable housing. In support of the County’s provision, the School Board processes school impact fee waivers for very low income certified affordable units.
2. How do I obtain a school impact fee waiver?
In order to apply for a school impact fee waiver, the project must have a valid school capacity availability determination (SCAD) letter indicating that permanent capacity is available to accommodate student(s) anticipated from the development, thus satisfying public school concurrency requirements. The SCAD letter may be requested concurrently with the school impact fee waiver request. However, if the SCAD letter determines that capacity is not available, the school impact fee waiver request cannot be processed. If it has determined that capacity is available to serve the project, the applicant must submit the following:
A request letter that states why School Board should not oppose waiving of impact fees, whether the applicant/developer is profit or non-profit, and whether the applicant/developer has 501(c) status. If yes, a verification letter from the Internal Revenue Service
A letter from Broward County Community Development Division certifying the project as a very low income project
Proof of ownership (Deed, etc.)
3. What is the timeframe for obtaining a School Impact Fee Waiver?
The District’s administrative procedure regarding school impact fee waiver requests takes approximately six weeks from date of submission to when the request is scheduled for School Board consideration at a regular School Board meeting.
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