County simplifies permit fee schedule

A new, revised fee schedule created by the Island County Planning Department consolidates what was previously two separate fee schedules, thereby streamlining the process of land use permitting. What was previously a stack of pages totalling 14 has been reduced to a mere four.

Planning Director Phil Bakke said the new land use schedule represents a simplification of previous schedules, while only entailing a minor increase in some fees.

“Planning and Community Development hadn’t been getting any money for doing temporary use permits,” said Bakke in explaining the increases. “There were some fees where we weren’t collecting enough money to manufacture the sign and pay for the ad. We made a shot at fixing some of those problems.”

Bakke said the changes in the schedule are mostly utilitarian, in that the consolidated schedule clarifies and simplifies the permitting process within several departments, including Health and Public Works. Permits that involve work in multiple departments make it clearer who does what and how the money taken in is distributed.

“We take in the permit, and the funds that the client gives us are distributed each month to the appropriate departments,” Bakke said.

Beyond that, the new fee schedule just makes things easier all the way around, Bakke said, both for the public and the county.

“It’s going to be clearer what somebody has to pay for an application,” he said. “There’s not as many shades of gray.”

The Island County Board of commissioners unanimously approved and adopted the new fee schedule at their regular staff session on Monday.

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