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Application Notice Lists

mike gurnee

Cyburbian
Messages
3,066
Points
30
Rather than jumping the thread on zoning application fees, I have a new thread question.

In your communities, how do you derive the list of neighboring properties that must receive notice of zoning applications? We force the applicant to use a certified abstractor, which costs about $5 per listing. Legally the most valid, but it can get very expensive for the person who wants a 6 inch side yard variance.
 

NHPlanner

Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
9,879
Points
38
We require the applicant to obtain the list directly from our assessing department, no sooner than 1 week prior to submitting the application. We have computer terminals available for them to use.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
All Hail GIS! Long Live GIS!

Our land records are on line and current within 3-4 weeks.

It takes us all of 30 seconds to derive it from our GIS system, so its part of the base fee.
 

NHPlanner

Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
9,879
Points
38
Re: All Hail GIS! Long Live GIS!

bturk said:
Our land records are on line and current within 3-4 weeks.

It takes us all of 30 seconds to derive it from our GIS system, so its part of the base fee.
We'll be doing that as well once we get GIS implemented here...we're finally getting to the end of the needs assessment phase.
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
We provide it from our office. Similar to Bturk, we have it readily available and include it as part of the application fee.
 

Bullwinkle

Cyburbian
Messages
176
Points
7
We require the applicant to collect the names, no more than 30 days prior to the date of the application. Most applicants use a title company - the cost is $50. If it doesn't come from a title company, I ask them to provide a photocopies of the County's records, which are dated, showing the names.
 

SW MI Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
3,195
Points
26
Hmmmm.....I never thought of having the applicant do it :)

We don't have GIS up yet, so I have to use a stinken compass and draw a line around the 300' radius, and then the assessing program. This is included in base charge of THIRTY DOLLARS. Man, I really need to get that changed.
 

Joe Iliff

Reformed City Planner
Messages
1,441
Points
29
We have a link with the local tax appraisal district, and our GIS program pulls the data from their database. Unfortunately, it's not updated often, (at least compared to how fast properties sell out here) so it's sometime inaccurate, but it's the best we can do.
 

troy

Member
Messages
68
Points
4
GIS...
The tax rolls are updated Quarterly, I believe, but perhaps more often than that. I'm usually not working on projects that require property owner notifications.

Our ordinance requires that the owners, according to our latest tax roll, be notified, so if the ownership changes between updates and the zoning case goes through during the shuffle, we are allegedly covered.
 

boiker

Cyburbian
Messages
3,890
Points
26
SW MI Planner said:
Hmmmm.....I never thought of having the applicant do it :)

We don't have GIS up yet, so I have to use a stinken compass and draw a line around the 300' radius, and then the assessing program. This is included in base charge of THIRTY DOLLARS. Man, I really need to get that changed.
sounds like us.. however, the county cut us off from the data then changed the data source, we are sending out notice to owner records over a year old... i usually get 10-15 back every case.

our charge for a variance in $300,
 

Joe Iliff

Reformed City Planner
Messages
1,441
Points
29
Wow!

$300??? Why so much? Does that really reflect the cost of processing the application, or have you set the fee so high to discourage frivilous applications? Do you get complaints from the people who need very small variances (like 1 foot out of a 25 foot setback)?
 

boiker

Cyburbian
Messages
3,890
Points
26
Re: Wow!

Joe Iliff said:
$300??? Why so much? Does that really reflect the cost of processing the application, or have you set the fee so high to discourage frivilous applications? Do you get complaints from the people who need very small variances (like 1 foot out of a 25 foot setback)?
yes fee high to discourage stupid requests...

we get complaints from applicants with massive variances too.

our current zba is pretty tough too.. you really have to convince them your hardship is unique.
 

Joe Iliff

Reformed City Planner
Messages
1,441
Points
29
Hmmmm . . . .

Does your legal department have a problem with you charging more than it costs to process the application just to discourage people from applying?

Here, I think the fee has to be related to the cost of processing the application, and can not be set so high as to be punitive or discouraging.
 

boiker

Cyburbian
Messages
3,890
Points
26
City council was in a budget crunch and assigned that fee...
we really had no choice. If its a legal issue, it's not with our department.
 

Joe Iliff

Reformed City Planner
Messages
1,441
Points
29
Ohhh, OK.

Well, that might be OK, since the fee is being used to provide for the staff and equipment needed to process the requests. I think you can set fees to cover 100% of the cost of the department if you wanted, but I don't know that you could set the fee at a super high rate just to collect extra money, say $1,000 for $300 worth of work.

Whatever.
 

SW MI Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
3,195
Points
26
$300??? Wow...try $30 here. I am trying to get our fee's increased to at least cover postage, hence my other post asking about other community's fee schedule.

Also must be nice to have a tough ZBA. Ours approved probably 98% of requests, even though my memo states all kinds of reasons to deny. I think they reasoning is, if it isn't going to hurt anybody, why not? It is a pretty small community, so I think people on the board are concerned about their 'reputation' - they don't want to be seen as unfair or whatever. I want to try training, but I doubt it would do any good. They know the criteria, they just don't follow it.

((Sorry for the hijack...had to vent))
 

giff57

Corn Burning Fool
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
5,398
Points
32
SW MI Planner said:
Also must be nice to have a tough ZBA. Ours approved probably 98% of requests, even though my memo states all kinds of reasons to deny. I think they reasoning is, if it isn't going to hurt anybody, why not? It is a pretty small community, so I think people on the board are concerned about their 'reputation' - they don't want to be seen as unfair or whatever. I want to try training, but I doubt it would do any good. They know the criteria, they just don't follow it.

((Sorry for the hijack...had to vent))
Our board is like that and I used to feel the way you do. After being here for a few years, I have changed my attitude. If none of the neighbors care about the issue, why should we?
 

boiker

Cyburbian
Messages
3,890
Points
26
giff57 said:


Our board is like that and I used to feel the way you do. After being here for a few years, I have changed my attitude. If none of the neighbors care about the issue, why should we?
i know what you mean.. but then why did you adopt the zoning ordinance the way you did? Why not make an ordinance change.

it's like letting people speed in special exceptions...
 

SW MI Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
3,195
Points
26
There are some requests that really don't meet our criteria for approval, but I don't have an opinion either way. Then there are some that in my opinion are blatant denials - those are the ones that are VERY fustrating.

The other thing that I really don't like is when they grant a variance the motion STINKS! They try to leave it up to me to craft a motion that is acceptable. For example, if someone wants a 20 foot variance to build a four story home in an area of ranch homes. Their motion would include "the approved variance will not create a structure that will appear incompatible with surrounding homes" (something like that). How could a 4 story building be compatible to a huge amount of one storys? Doh...

My fiance knows to hand me a beer (or two or three or ten) when I get home.....
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
My current office has all the info on GIS, similar to bturk and donk. The list/notification is included in the application fee.

Previous offices required the list be generated from the County assessor's office, or by a certified title company (using the assessor's records anyway). The City of Davis even used to have the applicants provide the print out list, a map showing the 300-foot notification radius (so the planner could later verify that the list is correct), and also have the applicant provide two sets of labels (Avery 5160) with all the names/addresses pre-printed. That was probably the most detailed system I ever knew... of course, I have no clue whether they still operate that way.
 
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