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Thread: Charge for zoning compliance letters?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    Charge for zoning compliance letters?

    OK, Michaelski charges $50, and Boiker charges $95. What does everyone else charge for a zoning compliance letter?

    We actually don't charge anything, but I would like to have that changed. Lately they have been wanting copies of site plans and zoning maps too. Do you charge additionally for these items?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    Our fee is $45 for a zoning complaince letter, and we have a standard form we will out. Additional copies of items would be 0.25 cents a page, but we do not usually get requests for maps, sometimes they do want the permitted uses. The fee is based on the typical time spent to process the request.
    "your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on my part!"

  3. #3
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    We don't charge for compliance letters...but it's a good idea so I placed on my list for the next fee schedule revision.
    RJ is the KING of . The One

  4. #4
    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake
    We don't charge for compliance letters...but it's a good idea so I placed on my list for the next fee schedule revision.
    Same here. We do charge for copies of site plans and zoning maps. A typical blueline copy of 32"x44" is $6.00. (The ammonia buzz I get is free...)
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
    "Once he timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy."
    Warren Spahn

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Plus
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    My fair city's charge for a Zoning Certification Letter is $25.
    Oddball
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    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
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  6. #6
    Cyburbian Boru's avatar
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    Zoning Map 25 Euro per map (there are usually set of 10 per county/city)
    Development Plan 30 Euro per copy.
    If you want plans/sections etc from any planning application file (they are not copyrighted anymore) you pay between 5-10 euro per drawing.
    A4 photocopies range from free to 10cent per sheet depending on the Council .

    Enforcement letters are not charged for. Rather than charging for letters per se, the Councils here go through the process, and if the wayward applicant applies for and is granted permission to regularise the situtation, they are charged for the time the Council has put into pursuing the enforcement action (small enough money at this stage). If the enforcement goes to court, the Council pursues for all costs.

    Also with regard to the above, almost all of the County Councils have all of their maps and development plan documents on their websites where they are free to download. A lot of the Councils also scan in all of the A4 documentation recieved or produced by each planning application and put it on the web as well. Very hand for reducing paper cost, and the time taken up by members of the public coming into the public planning desk (its generally only the larger Councils that do this though)

  7. #7
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    First place $25 for use, $75 for site plan review.
    Next place - $20
    Current Place - ?
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  8. #8

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    I am asking our electeds to raise the fee from $20 to $30 on Monday night.

  9. #9
         
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    We do not charge for a zoning compliance letter but I am wondering if it is because they are so simple and do not have a lot of information. I don't necessarily need to see a sample letter but could someone let me know all the info contained in your typical zoning compliance letter?
    When I write them I simply state the zoning classification and permitted uses...and actually lately I have just been attaching a copy of the section of the ord pertaining to the district.
    I cannot imagine charging for such a simple letter, however if it is common, it may be a good idea for us to start doing it here.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    We don't....

    Even though I've suggested it for over two years now....oh well......kind of a shocker being in Florida, where they charge a safety fee for loose shoe strings and appearance fee for un-combed hair...... Feelorida should be the name of this state......
    Skilled Adoxographer

  11. #11
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Jaxspra
    We do not charge for a zoning compliance letter but I am wondering if it is because they are so simple and do not have a lot of information. I don't necessarily need to see a sample letter but could someone let me know all the info contained in your typical zoning compliance letter?
    When I write them I simply state the zoning classification and permitted uses...and actually lately I have just been attaching a copy of the section of the ord pertaining to the district.
    I cannot imagine charging for such a simple letter, however if it is common, it may be a good idea for us to start doing it here.
    At a minimum, I include what you mentioned above excpet for the attached ordinance section. However, we frequently get requests for detailed information. Special Use history, ordinance violations, encroachments, non-conformities, etc. That does require a good amount of research and time. We dont have a large format copier here, so I don't provide copies of site plans.

    Zoning Maps - $10
    Base Maps (just streets) - $4
    8.5x11 copies - $0.04
    Zoning verification/status letter - $95
    Zoning certificate/site plan review for new construction (SFD only) - $95
    Zoning certificate/site plan review for new const, change/expansion of use (Com, Off, Ind, MF) - $150
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Our zoning compliance certificates are fairly detailed, and include all setback information, variance search, etc.

    Single Family standard processing (10 working days): $85
    SF rushed processing (4 working days): $197
    Multifamily residential (10 working days only): $394
    Commercial/Industrial: $394
    Other land uses: $73

  13. #13

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    About $100.

    Frankly, we ignore many of the things they expect. We cannot warrant that there are no building code or zoning violations without a special inspection. Our letters generally confirm that the project was built as approved, and, in most cases, that the zoning requirements are not onerously more restrictive today than when built.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Floridays's avatar
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    We charge $25 for a status letter.
    For copies of plats/site plans, $5/page.
    What a DEAL!

  15. #15
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by SW MI Planner
    OK, Michaelski charges $50
    That's peculiar. Stan always charges $75 for zoning compliance reviews in this community. For some reason he seems to insist on cash payment too.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Plus Salmissra's avatar
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    Ours are free. That may have to do with Houston's lack of zoning. What we do supply is a No Zoning Letter, available off our website, that simply states that Houston doesn't have zoning. It's signed by the Director, too!

    About once a month we receive zoning verification requests. I usually just fax them back a quick line, telling them to download the No Zoning Letter themselves, off our lovely website. Since they don't call back, I guess the letter satisfies whatever requirements they have.
    "We do not need any other Tutankhamun's tomb with all its treasures. We need context. We need understanding. We need knowledge of historical events to tie them together. We don't know much. Of course we know a lot, but it is context that's missing, not treasures." - Werner Herzog, in Archaeology, March/April 2011

  17. #17
    We charge $75 and $75 hou research fee

  18. #18
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    Quote Originally posted by Salmissra
    Ours are free. That may have to do with Houston's lack of zoning. What we do supply is a No Zoning Letter.....
    Alright....you've beat this drum many times in the past that "there is no zoning in Houston", but yet you have a whole planning department.....obviously you must have mechanisms that regulate land use and land development. Why else would you have a planning department unless you are overseeing the proper application of such mechanisms? Maybe you could educate us with a thread explaining the mechanisms.

    On-topic:
    We generally do them for free for simple letters, but if they want plans, ordinances, etc. we send them to the Clerk with an FOIA form and let them deal with it themselves.

    I am amazed that more property owners don't keep better files regarding all approvals and such pertaining to their property, and then just supply them to those inquiring....or am I missing something?
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

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  19. #19
    Cyburbian brian_w's avatar
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    $30 for a zoning letter.

    $0.25 per page for b/w copies, $4 for 24 x 36 copies (per page). If the project is big enough, we charge staff time for the production of the maps, about $25 per hour.
    You only need two tools: WD-40 and Duct Tape. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mendelman
    I am amazed that more property owners don't keep better files regarding all approvals and such pertaining to their property, and then just supply them to those inquiring....or am I missing something?
    A lot of the inquiries we get are independent research by or contracted out by mortgage companies or other interested parties.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Plus Salmissra's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mendelman
    Off-topic:

    Alright....you've beat this drum many times in the past that "there is no zoning in Houston", but yet you have a whole planning department.....obviously you must have mechanisms that regulate land use and land development. Why else would you have a planning department unless you are overseeing the proper application of such mechanisms? Maybe you could educate us with a thread explaining the mechanisms.
    Well, actually, I've responded on many threads about how we get by here in Houston. No Zoning does not equal No Subdivision/Platting regulations. While we do not have a comprehensive plan, we do have a Major Thoroughfare/Freeway plan to guide future development, along with a Long Range department that handles sector studies and our new urban-oriented infill projects.

    [back on topic] I have worked places with zoning before. While I don't remember what each city charged, I do know there was a fee. While usually a form letter, with the apporpriate zoning classification attached, they could be more involved if the applicant requested.
    "We do not need any other Tutankhamun's tomb with all its treasures. We need context. We need understanding. We need knowledge of historical events to tie them together. We don't know much. Of course we know a lot, but it is context that's missing, not treasures." - Werner Herzog, in Archaeology, March/April 2011

  22. #22
    Cyburbian permaplanjuneau's avatar
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    We'll write a letter or memo explaining just about everything from a building's permit history to a current flood zone determination for free, but if you want a "certified" (it's on city letterhead) letter, you've gotta pay $150.

    Alaska state law actually regulates how much we can charge for copies and such. We have a sliding scale for copies depending on the size of the paper, from $0.05 for 8 .5 x 11 to $4.00 for plats (regardless of size). BUT, we CAN'T charge if the total fee is less than $5.00.

    If a given person/company makes requests for information that result in five or more hours of research/copying per calendar month, then we get to charge them for our time (at the hourly rate of whoever is doing the research/copying).

    Basically, we spend as much time tracking what we've looked up for people as we do researching for them, and almost never charge anyone for anything. In cases such as appeals this is especially true, because the appellant usually requests information before they file an appeal, and then after they file the appeal, their lawyer makes subsequent requests, so the time spent researching and copying is spread between the appellant and their lawyer, and hardly ever reaches the five hour threshold in a given month. (I'm not bitter, I swear)

  23. #23
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    We charge $20 for zoning certification letter and $20 for floodplain determination letters. I'd like to charge more, but we are pretty organized with our building data and can quickly make these determinations without much staff time.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  24. #24
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    I got a $50 fee added to our fee schedule last year and it's been working smoothly...until two days ago when a citizen complained to a commissioner.
    [redneck voice] You're telling me it costs $50 to tell me what my zonin' is? [/redneck voice]

    Anyway, I did a quick survey of over a dozen Florida counties and the fees run between $10 (Washington County) to $100/hour (Collier County). We're in the ballpark.
    RJ is the KING of . The One

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Free for now, I proposed it to go to either $5 or $7.
    @GigCityPlanner

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