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City approves new permit fees
Permit, building inspection and contractor fees in the city of Allen are getting their first major overhaul in a decade.
At its regular meeting on Sept. 25, the Allen city council unanimously approved a proposal from Community Development that will completely restructure permit fee rates, as well as simplify the way fees are calculated.
The proposal was presented by Bo Bass, director of Community Development, who said the changes will make the process simpler for everyone.
"Our current process has a variety of fees over a series of pages," Bass said. "We're going to have a single-page fee table, so if the contractor knows the value of the construction and how many feet of construction, they can calculate the fee themselves; and so can staff very easily. It makes it very streamlined."
Bass also said that because of the tremendous growth the city has seen since 2002, permit fees have fallen behind the increasing costs.
"Cost of service has gone up: truck costs, tire costs, fuel costs, certification, licenses, uniforms and everything," Bass said. "But we've not kept pace in that regard."
In addition, Bass said that Allen's permit fees were below the rates of most neighboring cities. The new fee structure is designed to place the city near the average rates for the area.
"We don't want to lead the pack, but we don't want to follow it either," Bass said. "We think balance and equity is an important point when it comes to setting fees."
Because the proposal was approved, the city began 60 days of notification of the changes to contractors and the community on Oct. 1. A notice about the change was posted to the city's web site, with a link to detailed information about the new fee schedule. In addition, email and postal mail contact will be made to contractors, as well as face-to-face notification during inspections.
The new permit fees will be implemented on Dec. 1.