Residents who appeal Planning Commission decisions to the City Council will begin paying a $266.50 fee next month, the Hermosa Beach City Council voted this week. The fee was set despite protests by several residents and Councilmen Gary Brutsch and George Barks, who argued it would limit residents' access to local government.
The fee came in response to an ordinance adopted by the City Council July 9 which allows the city to charge for appeals pertaining to land-use issues. The council had set no exact amount for the appeals at that time.
City officials recommended the $266.50 fee based on estimates that it costs the city four hours of staff time each for two employees to process an appeal. The fee does not cover the cost of newspaper advertisements, officials said.
The council also instructed the city staff to draft an ordinance for "hardship" cases that would allow the city to waive the fee for residents who cannot afford it.