CRESTVIEW — The City Council has unanimously taken the first step to adopt an ordinance that will bring the permitting fee structure up to date.


CRESTVIEW — The City Council has unanimously taken the first step to adopt an ordinance that will bring the permitting fee structure up to date.



The new fee schedule, adopted Monday, is expected to make the Permitting Division self-sufficient, freeing up an estimated $40,000 from the tightly trimmed proposed city budget.



To put the new ordinance in place, the council must repeal Chapter 14 of the city code and replace it with the revised schedule, which building official Jonathan Bilby has been working on for more than a year.



"The language in Chapter 14 has not been revised since the mid-'90s and has not kept up with state law," Bilby said during Monday’s City Council workshop.



The "base code" used in Crestview's new ordinance is modeled closely on Florida Building Code, Bilby said. The new code includes a provision to assure taxpayers no longer pay to have other people’s projects inspected.



"If the permit fee does not cover the cost of required inspections, a trip charge of $30 shall be added for each inspection not covered by the permit fees," the new ordinance states.



Bilby reviewed the proposed ordinance with the local Building Industry Association chapter, which found the new fee schedule acceptable.



At the City Council’s direction, Bilby had looked at the possibility of exempting small homeowner improvements to alleviate the burden of permitting and inspecting.



Two types of projects he presented for consideration are non-structural residential fences, which currently require a $75 permit, and small residential storage sheds, which require a $75-100 permit.



Since Oct. 1, 2012, the city has permitted and inspected 28 sheds and 51 fences, generating about $6,500 in fees.



Want to go?



The Crestview City Council will discuss a new permitting fee schedule during a 5 p.m. Sept. 9 workshop at City Hall. City leaders will vote on the ordinance establishing the schedule at 6 p.m.



Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Brian Hughes at 850-682-6524 or brianh@crestviewbulletin.com. Follow him on Twitter @cnbBrian.