Sunday, Apr 22, 2018
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Waterville: Process of setting fees to be streamlined

Waterville plans to update the fees it charges for zoning and building permits, but first it's streamlining the process of setting the fees.

Right now, changing fees that are specified in the zoning code requires three readings of an ordinance and a public hearing - the same process as rezoning land.

"While that makes sense for changing the zoning of a piece of property, it doesn't make sense for changing a fee from $35 to $40," village administrator Jim Bagdonas said.

Council is considering changes that would make the process more efficient. It plans to update several parts of the planning and zoning code, the streets, utilities, and public services code, and the building code. Instead of specifying fees, the codes will state that the fees will be determined by council. Once that's done, council could approve a new fee schedule this month, and review and update fees every year.

Some have not been changed in many years, Mr. Bagdonas said.

"There's a feeling that some are on the low side," he said.

The city plans to compare its current fees with those of other communities, he said.

Fees in the zoning code that could be changed include those for staff review of plans, minor subdivisions, preliminary and final plats, and planned developments; zoning amendments, supplements, or boundary changes; zoning appeals and permits; and special use permits.

Other fees that will be reviewed include those for excavations in the public right of way, sidewalk construction and curb cut permits, sign permits, and permits within historic districts.

Ordinances requiring licenses for jukebox operators and amplifiers like loudspeakers on top of cars could be repealed.

Mr. Bagdonas said driving down the street making announcements is not a very common activity.

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