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2/7/2013 County’s zoning fees: Some reduced, some increased

The county commissioners changed some of the county’s zoning fee structure, with many fees reduced and others staying the same.

The action occurred during the commissioners’ regular meetings held Jan. 31, and Feb. 4-5.

Commissioner Lynn Attebery said the commissioners review the fee schedule annually, however, no changes had been made to those fees in several years.

Custer County planning and zoning director Jackie Hobby proposed a number of changes to the current fee structure. Hobby said her proposed changes were based on inquiries of surrounding counties including Chaffee and Fremont counties.

Also, said Hobby, many of the proposed changes are in line with those counties and, in some cases, Custer County’s permit fees would be much lower. While the commissioners tweaked a few of the proposed changes, most were approved as presented.

The fee that took the most discussion was for a home occupation certificate.

For years, Custer County residents wishing to operate a business out of their home have been able to obtain the certificate at no charge. On the table initially was a $25 permit fee for the first year and $10 for subsequent years. Hobby noted home occupation permit fees in Fremont County are $250.

Terre Davis, who has a home occupation certificate to run a chiropractic business with her husband Tom, objected, saying it appeared to be a tax.

Davis also asked the commissioners to put a positive spin on any such fee.

Commissioner Kit Shy said the fee was more for registration so folks asking about what businesses are located in the community could be given a list. That list could also be placed on the county website.

Shy also suggested a $10 initial fee and no cost for annual registration. The motion passed unanimously.

The cost to obtain a zoning permit to build a closed structure, such as a home, is now 35 cents a square foot instead of 45 cents per square foot.

The cost of a permit to build an open structure stays the same at 25 cents per square foot.

A deck/balcony permit fee dropped from $50 to $25.

A septic permit fee increased by $2 to $225, the septic modification fee stayed the same at $225, and a septic repair permit fee dropped from $75 to $50. Also staying the same are septic evaluation fees at $75, as well as portable toilet fees which are set by the state. The portable toilet fees are $30 for the first year and $25 for subsequent annual renewal.

Septic contractor license fees jumped from $25 for the first year to $50. Annual contractor license renewals stayed the same at $10.

Septic cleaner fees jumped from $25 to $50 for the initial permit, and stayed the same at $10 for subsequent cleaning permits.

Septic inspections that require a second trip stayed the same at $75.

Other zoning permit fees staying the same were sign variances at $200; lot line vacation done administratively, lot line vacation taking board action, lot line adjustment, zoning change, over-height variance, setback variance, multi-dwelling variance, under-sized lot creation, vested rights, and any other board action at $400 each.

Eliminated was the wildlife permit fee which had been $300.

The Special Event Permit fees done administratively dropped from $100 to $50, while the special event permit fee that takes board action stayed the same at $300.

The fee to seek a special use permit dropped from $500 per phase to $250 per phase. There are two phases.

Subsequently, the SUP modification fee dropped from $300 to $150, however, if overall expenses exceed $150, the applicant will pay those expenses.

The new zoning permit fee schedule went into effect immediately.

Planned Unit Development and Subdivision fees will be addressed at a later time, so they stay the same for now. – Nora Drenner