Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Hailey sets encroachment rules

Fees and permits to recoup devel-opment costs

Express Staff Writer

Just as the Hailey water meter vault project is in full swing, the City of Hailey has set new encroachment fees and permit and inspection fees for the building and fire departments.

The meter vault project helped to identify areas where the city has overlooked common encroachments in the city right of way, said City Administrator Jim Azumano, Monday. Azumano has been working with staff to get a better understanding of how fees are distributed for what services.

For example, during the meter vault project it became clear that some fences were built without consideration of city boundaries.

The new rules concerning encroachment permits could hold contractors responsible for violating encroachment rules, not homeowners, said City Attorney Ned Williamson.

The new encroachment fee involves application fees from $50 to $75 for driveway and sidewalk encroachments and a $100 inspection fee for residential driveways and sidewalks and $150 for commercial driveways and sidewalks.

The city has adopted a ?pay first? policy as well. There is room for penalty fees in addition to a standard misdemeanor that can come as a result of any city ordinance violation.

Building inspection fee increases were also adopted this week. Fees will be charged using the 1997 Uniform Building Code published by the International Conference of Building Officials (IBCO). Building valuation will be factored at $120 per square foot.

New construction of large remodel projects will be charged a $500 application fee to be applied to building permit applications completed within 180 days.

The fee for building plan review is 65 percent of the building permit fee. In turn fire department review for commercial or multifamily projects will be 35 percent of the building plan review fee. The most detailed fee schedules are in the Hailey Fire Department. The revised fee structure is designed to help the department cover the actual cost of permits for operations regulated by the International Fire Code from $25 five year inspections on aerosol products to $200 fees for fire extinguisher use.

The department estimates that it spends 25 percent of its time on development applications, so each fire department inspection will be charged at a rate of $50 per visit with a two-hour minimum for after hour visits.

Building inspector Dave Ferguson said the new ordinance is a boon for the city because inspection fees for example will more accurately represent demand for staff time. In the past a building permit fee was intended to cover two visits, once during con-struction and once at the end depending on the type of inspection.

?Some (builders) have us come back three or four times,? Ferguson said.

Consideration of another ordinance governing parks, vendors and business license fees was continued to the next city council meeting Aug. 23.

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