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Eustis adopts business-friendly measures for industrial use, new development

Eustis adopts business-friendly measures for industrial use, new development
Eustis condenses its development approval process from eight to five steps. (City of Eustis)

The City of Eustis has launched new business-friendly initiatives to make the city more attractive to industrial property users, and cut the wait time by nearly two thirds for new development plan approvals.

A new abbreviated development approval process and fee cut is designed to show its doors are open wide for businesses. The moves are designed to cut the cost and time for moving a new business into the city.

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The first is a potential partial waiver of impact fees for connecting to the city's sewer, cutting the cost in half for existing industrial businesses that are expanding, and new businesses moving in.

There are a few conditions: the business must meet the definition of an industrial use; must be located on property with General Industrial or mixed Commercial/Industrial land use designations; must create 10 or more net new jobs in a year; and make a capital investment of at least the requested waiver amount, but no less than $100,000 within one year.

If the company borrows money for the sewer connection impact fee it must maintain 10 employees during the entire financing period. And if the impact fees are not financed, or financed for less than three years, the 10-net job requirement must be maintained for three years.

"The program is one way to make Eustis more attractive to industrial users while, at the same time, ensures the promised job creation and capital investment remain in place," said Tom Carrino, the city's economic development director.

The second business-friendly program launched in Eustis is a streamlined approval process for development. The new process can reduce approval to two months, compared with six to eight for a full site plan and final engineering and construction plan review.

Moving some of the reviews earlier in the process has condensed the new process into five steps from eight.

"The streamlined (development approval) process communicates clear expectations, minimizes review steps and meetings while still ensuring compliance with applicable regulations," said Development Services Director Lori Barnes. "It offers property owners flexibility and reduced time frames ... helping simplify the process and ensure Eustis is known as a business and industry-friendly environment."

Teresa Burney can be reached at 352-455-1955 or at Teresaburney4@gmail.com. Follow GrowthSpotter on FacebookTwitterand LinkedIn.

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