Types of fees and deposits related to obtaining permits and entitlements
The cost is based on either a predetermined amount (a truly flat fee) or a fixed percentage of the value of the proposed work. For building permits, separate fees are assessed during certain stages of plan review. For example, plan check fees (plumbing, electrical, and mechanical) are due at initial plan submittal. Prior to the issuance of approved construction plans, other fees due include the fee for field inspections and records imaging. Building permits are ministerial actions.
Planning Division flat fee applications are, for the most part, associated with ministerial permits where the planner checks against a set of standards or policies and can either approve or deny the application. More often, we will notify an applicant why a proposal cannot be approved and work towards an approval request. Flat fee planning permits include sign, home occupation, and temporary special activity permits. Flat fee discretionary applications include review of fences that exceed the maximum allowed height and tree removal requests that are not associated with a development project.
Hourly-Rate Plan Check
These fees are typically associated with the review and verification of construction-level drawings intended to implement approved design plans. The most common permit application where hourly plan check fees apply are for Engineering's site development permits, final maps, & improvement plan reviews. These reviews require an account deposit based on the value of the work. An overview of the required deposit amount can be found in the Site Development Permit Information Guide [PDF]. The project engineer, as well as other plan check staff, will bill the account for the time that each spends on review of the plans and materials. The hourly rate is adopted by the City Council.
Hourly-Rate Discretionary Development Review
Except as noted above, the hourly rate applies to all discretionary development review applications seeking development entitlements such as rezoning, architectural and site design, and tentative subdivision & parcel maps. These types of projects usually require environmental analyses, report writing, correspondence, significant coordination, and multiple public hearings. Depending on the types of entitlements that are sought, a project may obtain all entitlements from the Design Review Commission or encompass separate entitlements such as a Conditional Use Permit from the Planning Commission or an rezoning ordinance that is adopted by the City Council. The required account deposit varies widely and is based on the types of requested entitlements. The required deposit amount by application type can be found on the Planning Division Deposits web page. It can range from $1,200 for a simple storefront remodel to more than $10,000 for large commercial or residential development projects. The project planner and other City staff involved with the project will charge the account for the time that each spends on review of the plans and materials. The hourly rate is adopted by the City Council.
Development-Related Impact Fees
In addition to the above, the following list reflects the types of required fees that are based on the type of development or size of project that is proposed. For a summary of Permit & Developer fees & charges, click here [PDF]. This document is best printed on 11" x 17".
|Parkland Dedication||Required for all net new residential development. The revenue is used to acquire or improve parkland, open space,and other recreational facilities.|
|Inclusionary Housing||Allowed for all new residential development of 26 or fewer units, in-lieu of providing the required affordable units within the project. The generated funds are used solely for the development of affordable units elsewhere in the City.|
|Commercial Linkage||Required for all new commercial floor area of more than 1,000 square feet. The funds are used towards the development of affordable housing.|
|Parking In-Lieu||If approved by the City Council, the fee is assessed to allow deletion of existing parking stalls within the Pedestrian-Retail Zoning District or the payment is made in-lieu of providing on-site vehicle parking stalls. The fees generated are used to offset the capital costs of existing and future public parking facilities.|
|Public Art||The fee is assessed when the project is small in size or the art piece is not able to be located on the site.|
|Traffic Impact||Required for all net new residential units and commercial projects where a project increases the overall vehicle trip generation. The funds are used to construct improvements related to parking, and pedestrian, vehicular, and bicycle mobility.|
|Tree Mitigation||If approved by a discretionary body, the fee is used to purchase and install new trees on City lands as an offset to remove otherwise healthy tree(s) on a project site. The fee is equal to the appraised value of the tree(s). Refer to Section 3.-8.04.h.8.|
|Drainage Fee||Required when development occurs in a County or City drainage district whose drainage systems have been designated for improvement. Consult your project engineer for more details.|
|CA. Dept of Fish & Game||This fee is collected by the State for the filing of environmental review documents (CEQA Negative Declarations & Environmental Impact Reports). Consult your project planner for more details.|