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Reduced impact fee suggested for new homes with sprinkler system installed

By Staff | Oct 25, 2010

Cape Coral City Council could consider an ordinance to reduce impact fees on new construction if homeowners decide to install sprinkler systems in their homes.
The board will first have to decide if it supports a study to see if the sprinklers could reduce those fees, but that will likely find support when a vote is taken on the issue next Monday.
Fire Chief Bill Van Helden said Monday that homes with sprinkler systems have 90 percent less fire loss than home without.
Van Helden said the impact fee reduction, if eventually implemented, would not be mandatory.
The chief added that that the program is not a cost saving initiative, but a life saving one.
“We’re not talking about raising impact fees, we’re talking about lowering them,” Van Helden added.
Councilmember Chris Chulakles-Leetz said he’d like to find a way to encourage existing homeowners to install sprinkler systems in their homes as well.
He also said most people would consider spending thousands of dollars on a home surround sound system, but not sprinklers. But adding a sprinkler system to a home would save money and lives, he said.
“This would provide a piece of mind most have never experienced,” Chulakes-Leetz added.
The price of the study is $1,200, and will be paid for out of the Fire Department’s budget. An on site presentation of the study, at the cost of $1,500, could be skipped by council to save money.