Can a lawsuit reshape the development of Gulf Shores? City files response to impact fee claims
A lawsuit over impact charges in the city of Gulf Shores moved a step further in court last week, but it remains far from resolved.
Baldwin County Presiding Circuit Judge J. Clark Stankoski has yet to rule on Gulf Shores’ latest motion against the lawsuit filed by resident Debra Wymer, who argues the city used the impact fee inappropriately.
Wymer filed a lawsuit in Baldwin County Circuit Court against the city and city officials in June over how Gulf Shores uses the impact fee it collects. Impact fees are charged to developers and, per Alabama law, should only be used for costs associated with public improvements the city must make to accommodate new development. Fees must not exceed 1% of the estimated market value of the completed development, including the value of the land.
The lawsuit alleges that the city had been overly broad in calculating the impact fee, resulting in a fee exceeding the 1% threshold, and that the city was using the fee for expenses other than those related to development.
Wymer also hopes to make the lawsuit a class action to represent others in her situation. As the Lede first reported in June, the plaintiff seeks reimbursement of the impact fee as well as compensatory damages.