Crestview permit fee schedule revision almost ready

Published: Friday, August 9, 2013 at 11:33 AM.

CRESTVIEW — Having the county's lowest permit fees makes the city attractive to builders, but because the fees don't cover the cost of inspecting new buildings, taxpayers subsidize new construction.

That was the message the Crestview City Council took from city building inspector Jonathan Bilby following his Wednesday afternoon report.

Council members approved of Bilby's efforts to finalize revisions to Crestview's permit fee structure. Under his proposal, the charges should cover the city's costs for mandatory new building inspections and plan reviews.

Bilby, at Council President Robyn Helt’s direction, had looked into eliminating fees for small projects such as a resident's installation of a prefabricated backyard shed.

Though eliminating the fees would take some revenue from the department, the amount would be small, Bilby said.

Crestview's revised permit fee schedule, if adopted by the council, would be less than Fort Walton Beach's fees and "slightly ahead" of, but comparable to, Okaloosa County's.

This pleased Helt, who was concerned that inequities in permit fees could encourage a homebuilder to construct in neighboring county jurisdiction instead of within city limits.



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