Redlands city officials are debating many increases. One would raise a dog’s adoption from $10 to $129

 

BY JAN SEARS
STAFF WRITER
jsears@pe.com

Published: 02 July 2012 04:55 PM

The results of a study proposing fee increases for city services — from construction permits to adopting a dog from the city shelter — have raised concerns among city councilmen.

Nearly all city fees would be going up. Some would more than double, while others would increase as much as 21 times over current amounts.

Councilman Jerry Bean said that while the city could use the additional revenue, which could be more than $1.5 million, he questioned the methodology used to determine the increase amounts.

“There is one fee that would be 21 times higher than it is currently,” Bean said last week, after the City Council had spent more than two hours going over the fees during a June 25 workshop. “They say that’s to correct a mistake. But all of the increases are substantial.”

Bean focused on the increase in the cost of permits to construct a single-family home on a vacant lot in a developed neighborhood.

“Permits for an in-fill house would go from $3,500 to more than $6,000. That’s almost doubled,” he said. “I just don’t see how, given the methodology used, that it’s even possible. There’s something wrong.”

Representatives of the Redlands Chamber of Commerce, the Baldy View Chapter of the Building Industry Association and a former mayor also expressed concerns.

Redlands hasn’t increased its fees in five years, other than some cost-of-living boosts, consultant MGT of America said in its executive report. The firm, hired in March 2011, developed new fee amounts that reflect the city’s actual cost of providing the services, from employees’ salaries to city building maintenance and administrative costs.

John Hiemann of the Building Industry Association asked that the city delay the fee hikes, or phase them in over 24 months, if the new schedule is adopted. He also asked that existing projects be grandfathered at the rates in effect when the projects were proposed.

Don Gee, representing the chamber, asked that the council delay a vote until a chamber task force can talk with city staff.

Councilman Paul Foster echoed their concerns.

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