Tuesday, September 18, 2001
Steamboat Springs Today, the city's new Community Development Code will be put to use for the first time for new developments. On Tuesday night, the City Council approved a fee structure which at least one City Council member felt was being rushed past the public to go with that code.
"This is not how we treat our public," said Council President Pro Tem Kathy Connell, speaking about the city's decision to adopt the fees by resolution, not by ordinance.
The fees, which are charged to developers when they bring an application to the city for its review, have been passed by ordinance a two-vote process in the past. The new fees, however, are now not part of the code's language, so they don't legally need two readings.
The city needed to change the fees, which can run to $5,000 or more for a complex development permit, because the categories used in the old code no longer apply. The new code, scheduled to be implemented beginning today, changes the classifications presented in the old code. For instance, there is no "major development permit" category as there was in the past; instead, people must present a development plan and final development plan for certain types of applications, each of which will necessitate different costs.
The new fees are not radically different from the old ones in terms of the dollar amounts, but they do make more of a distinction between more complex and thus more costly projects and less complex ones.
City staff and the majority of City Council members felt the resolution process was acceptable given the need to get the fees in place to use the new code and the city's promise to review the code and the fees within six months.
The fees are meant to make growth pay for itself so the city is not using staff time to help developers with their projects and paying for it, according to members of the council.
"These are fees for service," said Councilman Jim Engelken.