By John L. Ross
Permit prices may change in Williamsburg.
During its regular monthly meeting Monday, the Williamsburg City Council listened to the first read of a new permit fee structure.
The second reading of the fee ordinance will be during the next monthly meeting of city council in March.
Permits included in the fee increase are construction, removal and moving of buildings, structures and facilities, as well as variance and conditional-use permits.
Mayor Roddy Harrison explained the city needs to raise its current fees. Board member Richard Foley said the current fees have not been changed since 1960.
Harrison said the fee structure needed to be simpler for permit seekers to understand.
Foley explained he had some different ideas concerning the structure, adding he had worked with council member Erica Harris. “We like what we came up with,” he said.
Harrison said it would be reviewed before the next meeting. “We’ll take a good look at it before we have a second reading,” Harrison said.
Here’s a breakdown of the ordinance:
— All construction permits will have a base price of $25. According to Section II of the ordinance, “(the cost is) $2 per $1,000 (of construction costs) for permit of construction after the first $5,000.”
— Permits for an athletic facility and any accessory (with the exception of buildings) will have a $25 base price, plus $1 per $1,000 of construction costs.
— Sign permits have a $25 base price, plus $1 per $1,000 of construction costs.
— Base fees have five different categories. For moving of a building or structure, demolition of a structure or building, and site excavation not part of a new construction, the base fee would be $100. For variance permits or conditional-use permits, the base fee is $25.
— Construction costs would be determined by the square footage of the finished project. According to the ordinance, “The value shall be the price per square foot at the current construction rate.” The current rate is determined by the date of the requested permit.
— Not adhering to the permit ordinance will bring a $15-per-day fine until permits are obtained.
No action was required by city council members for this first reading. The final vote for these permit changes is scheduled after the second reading of the ordinance during the regular monthly meeting in March.