Unlike some other local-government departments, City-County Planning isn't asking for fee increases this year. InterNeighborhood Council President Tom Miller, though, has said he intends to complain anyway.
At the council's April meeting, Miller called the fees "unreasonable" and said he intends to tell the city council why.
Some current fees are:
- $1,435 (including surcharges) to apply for rezoning a residential lot of one acre or smaller
- $3,500 (plus surcharges) to submit a minor site plan for review
- $4,000 or $6,000 for a Traffic Impact Analysis, depending on the level of traffic
- $2,739 (including surcharges) to apply for an amendment to the city-county land-use plan.
Such high fees, Miller said, make public processes inaccessible to ordinary citizens.
"You shouldn't spend $1,000 to get your case heard before the Board of Adjustment," he said; and a hearing, application or submittal fee paid brings no assurance of approval.
"The fee structure assumes that only developers appeal for rezoning," and they are familiar with the process and absorb the charges as a cost of doing business.
"I have as much right to petition for rezoning as a developer does," said Miller, an attorney by profession.
Miller likened the planning department fees to a police department charging crime victims to deal with their cases or a fire department charging to save a burning house.
"Make it so everybody has equal access," he said.