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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary | The Regional
Review / DEVELOPMENTS IN ORANGE, RIVERSIDE, SAN BERNARDINO
AND VENTURA COUNTIES

Builders' Fees Cut After Audit Finds Overbilling

May 05, 1999

SANTA ANA — Orange County may have overcharged builders by as much as $10 million in recent years, prompting the Board of Supervisors to vote Tuesday to cut inspection and planning costs, and pay refunds to builders whose projects are not yet finished.

Last year, the overbilling totaled nearly $2.4 million. It was discovered by a consultant hired to study whether the fees the county charged builders in the unincorporated areas were in line with a state code. The code bars municipalities from charging more than it costs to oversee planning work.

Supervisors approved a 28% reduction in the fees for checking plans and inspecting residential and commercial projects, and also voted to give larger discounts to builders requiring repeated plan checks.

Even with the overbilling, Orange County still boasts one of the lowest building fees in the region, according to board documents.

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