City to consider fee increase for permits
When only one resident showed up at the Design Review Board’s Sept. 17 public workshop on development fees, the meeting turned into a roundtable discussion.
The group, which included city staff and the mayor, agreed that changes should be made to the fee schedule, which governs how much is charged for everything from processing plans for a new development to tree removal permits.
The potential changes discussed last Thursday evening will be brought to the Del Mar City Council in a public hearing tentatively scheduled for late October for a final decision.
“I believe the city should have a greater ability to recover some of its costs,” said Bill Michalsky, a Del Mar resident and member of the Del Mar Planning Commission.
The findings of a recent accounting study on Del Mar’s fee schedule revealed that the city loses about $750,000 yearly in direct costs resulting from the work required to approve design project permits.
Their permit fees only cover 30 percent of their expenditures for the project, and Design Review Board members expressed their intention to put more of the financial burden on the applicant.
The deficit comes out of the city’s general fund, taking money from other potential public and community uses.
“The city should be able to recover some of the costs of providing a service,” said Mayor Crystal Crawford.
Alternatives on the table are to increase fees to cover up to 70 percent of costs or to try and reclaim all direct costs. The group agreed that reclaiming all direct costs is less likely to be approved because the city does not want to make it financially impossible for residents to obtain permits for their projects.
“It will be a policy decision on behalf of the council,” said Adam Birnbaum, planning manager for Del Mar’s Planning Department.
The city is also entertaining the idea of changing permit payments for larger projects to a deposit-based payment plan to reduce city costs on more complex projects and fees for smaller, less complex projects.
- DM development fees revisited
- Tonight’s public workshop will address development fees in Del Mar
- Watch for workshop on design review permit fees
- S.D. city council approves water rate increase
- Insurance company to pay city $5.5 million
Short URL: http://www.delmartimes.net/?p=2586