The Bellevue City Council on Monday unanimously passed a series of 15 new and amended fees. New fees included those for local businesses to add a service to an existing business license, for park events of 100 people or more and for alternative energy permits. Amended fees included raising the cost on fence permits and encroachment permits.
One newly proposed fee was for an event banner installation over Bellevue’s Main Street. The fee, proposed and passed at $750, includes the cost of outsourcing to a company to actually put up the banner using a bucket truck. The company, C&R Electric in Hailey, provided an estimate of $700 for the banner installation and takedown, which did not include traffic control. During discussion of the proposed fee, Sara Burns, who coordinates the Bellevue Labor Day Fun Run each year, said the cost of banner installations on Main Street is an exorbitant amount that most small-town event organizers will not be able to afford.
No other members of the public were present to voice their comments, and no written comments on the fee proposals were submitted to the city.
Community Development Director Diane Shay said some fees will let the city break even on employee time spent reviewing permit applications and completing site visits, while others have the potential to create revenue. Those include the mobile or manufactured home installation permit fee, which will allow the city to charge a fee based on the total cost of construction, rather than a flat rate. The same fee structure was approved for roof permits and alternative energy permits, such as solar panels.
In addition, the council passed an ordinance amending city code to allow certain design review approval processes to be done administratively rather than through the Planning & Zoning Commission. The amendment is intended to save money on reviews of accessory dwelling unit applications and requests for front yard setback variances. Convening a full P&Z meeting requires the city to pay each commissioner $47.50 per meeting, regardless of how long or short the meeting is. The amendment will allow only two people—Shay and the P&Z chair or the chair’s designee—to review the applications, saving the city $190 each time they convene. The review will still occur in council chambers in City Hall, and the chair will still be allowed take public comment on any application if he or she chooses to do so (public hearings are not required for either application, per city code).
Shay said during the meeting Monday that if for whatever reason she and the P&Z chair or a designee cannot come to an agreement on an application, the application would be brought to the P&Z for review.