Action designed to help businesses coping with economic impacts of pandemic
Without any comments, the Sarasota County Commission has approved a 25% reduction in certain building permit fees through Dec. 31.
The Oct. 6 action was retroactive to Oct. 1, which was the start of the current fiscal year.
The item was part of the board’s Consent Agenda of routine business matters.
The County Commission originally lowered some of the fees in a vote on June 3, basing its decision on the “proliferation of COVID-19,” and the desire to “assist in the reopening and economic recovery of County residents and local business,” an Oct. 6 county staff memo pointed out.
That action kept the lower fees in effect through Sept. 30.
The Oct. 6 staff memo also noted that, almost exactly a year earlier — on Oct. 8, 2019 — the commission updated building permit fees on the basis of an analysis undertaken by a consultant the county had hired. The study’s goal was “to ensure that the fees charged reasonably reflect the County’s costs,” the memo added. The revised fees went into effect in March of this year, just before the first novel coronavirus cases were identified in Sarasota County.
The affected fees are contained in Section 2 of the County Code. The commission’s votes do not apply to fees relating to the Building Code Board of Adjustments and Appeals, the Oct. 6 memo pointed out.
Additionally, the Oct. 6 memo said staff was planning to conduct another analysis, after the 2020 fiscal year ended on Sept. 30, “to determine if the fee model is performing as anticipated.”
Among the affected fees are those for reviews of plans for new residential and commercial construction; reviews of plans for residential and commercial alterations and renovations; inspections, which are priced according to value of the construction; and permits for miscellaneous projects, including re-roofing, dock installations, signage, aboveground pools and spas; and the installation of new doors and windows when the opening sizes will be changed.