City of Portland jacking up permit fees
A reader sends along what he or she says is an e-mail message just in from the City of Prtland:
The Bureau of Development Services (BDS) collects fees under various fee schedules to fund inspections, plan review, permit issuance, land use review, customer assistance, and other functions. Since 1988, construction-related programs operated by BDS (approximately 90% of bureau functions) have been primarily self-supporting. BDS achieves this through a combination of strategies that allow the bureau to respond to increasing costs while being innovative and proactive in meeting changing customer needs.
Fee Increase Overview
BDS is proposing to increase most fees (except for Environmental Soils) by 8%, beginning July 1, 2011. Due to significant historical funding issues, Environmental Soils (subsurface sewage) fees will increase by 70%.
Building permits (8%)
Mechanical permits (8%)
Electrical permits (8%)
Plumbing permits (8%)
Facilities Permit Program (8%)
Site Development permits (5%)
Environmental Soils (subsurface sewage) Program (70%)
Signs Program (8%)
Zoning Program (5%)
Noise Control Program (8%)
Neighborhood Inspections (8%)
Land Use Services (8%)
Field Issued Remodel (FIR) Program hourly rate (8%)
If Fees are NOT Increased…
While BDS recognizes the impact that fee increases have on its customers, particularly in the current economic climate, moderate fee increases will be necessary in order to provide financial stability for BDS and ensure an acceptable level of services to bureau customers. Not increasing fees would have significant impact on both the bureau and our customers and stakeholders:
Service levels would remain at unacceptably low levels, hindering development at a time when it’s desperately needed.
Bureau reserves would remain at critically low levels.
Cost recovery efforts would slip.
Next Steps / For Further Information
The Portland City Council will review and listen to public testimony regarding the proposed fee increases at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 18, 2011 in City Council chambers. The Council will vote on the changes on Wednesday, May 25, 2011. If the ordinance is passed the fee increases will go into effect on July 1, 2011.
Multnomah County fees will also be affected, since the County contracts with the City of Portland for inspection and plan review services in the unincorporated areas within the Portland urban services boundary. The County Board of Commissioners will review the proposed fee increases on Thursday, June 2, 2011 in the County Board Room, 501 SE Hawthorne, first floor.
The proposed fee schedules are available online at http://www.portlandonline.com/bds/index.cfm?c=44589.
If you have questions about the fee increases, please contact Denise Kleim, BDS Administrative Services Manager, at (503) 823-7338 or firstname.lastname@example.org.