Zoning fees increased for first time in over a decade
FAIRFIELD — Permit fees for zoning fees are going up, for the first time in more than a decade.
The Town Plan and Zoning Commission Tuesday unanimously approved the changes and even went a step further to require the fee structure be reviewed on an annual basis.
“We have not changed the fees since 2004,” Planning Director Jim Wendt said. “We’d been asked by the first selectman’s office to do this.”
Wendt said in making the recommendations, his office looked at the fees charged in Westport and West Hartford.
“We think this will bring us more in line,” he explained.
For example, in Fairfield, the fee for a compliance permit, which often just needs staff approval, was $110. Of that, $50 was kept by the town and the rest went to the state. The new fee structure charges $160, with the town now keeping $100 and the state still getting $60, as is required by state statute.
By comparison, West Hartford charges $250, plus another $50 per 1,000 square feet. In Westport, the zoning compliance permit fee is $660.
“If you get the fee too high, you’re going to drive people to do work without the permit,” Wendt said, reminding commissioners that the Building Department also charges fees on top of the zoning permit fees.
Old and new zoning permit fees
Zoning Compliance: $110 / $160
Coastal Site Plan: $100 / $260
Special Permit: $160 / $360
Special Exception: $160 / $360
Regulation Amendments: $260 / $560
Zone Change: $260 / $560
Subdivisions: $50 per lot / $150 per lot plus $60 for state
Variances: $160 / $260
Commissioner Daniel Ford said he would suggest the town fees be set so that they never receive less money than the state does.
“With the proposed fees, that will now be the case,” Chairman Matthew Wagner said.
Wagner made the suggestion that the fees be reviewed each year. It was decided that review will be done in the future at the December organizational meeting.