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Tustin : City Backs Fee Cut for Project Applications

March 10, 1994|BERT ELJERA

The City Council has tentatively approved a plan to reduce fees for routine applications for business or home construction projects filed with the Community Development Department.

The council voted unanimously Monday to decrease fees by as much as 50% for applications that can be processed quickly, such as requests for extensions on building or renovation projects that could not be finished as scheduled.

"We need to encourage people (to build or expand), especially in this economy," Mayor Jim Potts said. "The entrepreneurs provide the tax dollars. We don't want us to be the cause for them to fail."

A public hearing will be held, perhaps as early as March 21, to consider the fee reductions, according to Rita Westfield, the city's assistant community development director. A council resolution would be necessary to enact the changes, she said.

Currently, businesses and homeowners pay the same amount for plan changes or revisions as they do when they apply for a project for the first time. Applicants also pay the full amount for extension requests.

Under the proposal, applicants would pay $350 instead of $665 for minor changes such as changing the external color of a proposed building or adding a rack to display more merchandise inside a store.

A flat $250 fee is also being considered for extension requests, she said.

The Planning Commission is also considering a draft ordinance that would create the position of zoning administrator, officials said.

With a zoning administrator, certain application fees could be reduced by as much as 85%, because that official could help cut red tape, said Assistant City Manager Christine Shingleton. She said the ordinance could go before the council in 30 to 45 days.

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