Walnut Creek to consider fee increases for city services

You might have to pay a little—or a lot—more for parking tickets or permits to install a solar system or new roof. Or to have your license for your massage business suspended.  
The city is trying to close a $20 million budget gap and has found that it is undercharging for some services—compared to what other cities charge for those services. The city expects that 37 percent of its revenue will come from user fees in the next two years.
The City Council will discuss these fee increases, suggested by a consulting company, at its meeting Tuesday night. The suggested fee increases could produce $1,904,000 in revenue over the next two years.
There will be some fee modifications for arts and recreation programs or classes, but generally it won’t cost more to play golf at Boundary Oak, to take a Civic Arts Education class, to see a Center Repertory show, or to swim at Clark Memorial or Larkey swim centers. Notable exceptions include raising prices for the preschool program, the after-school sports program, and charging up to $3 per-person-per-day at the Heather Farm Tennis Center Facility.
Most of the city’s fee changes would largely be imposed by the Community Development Department. For example, the city is looking to charge developers for the cost of revising and preparing the General Plan. While the department expects a downturn in development activity for the next two years, it’s still possible for the city to recoup approximately $1 million over the lifespan of our current General Plan.
You can read about all the proposed changes on the city’s agenda. Here are some other highlights: 

–Solar permit: Increase the fee for a new solar unit in a single-family and duplex residential from $65 to $262.50. (This suggested fee would put Walnut Creek in line with what other cities and is still far below the $800 to $1000 that some East Bay cities charge.)
–Reroof permit: 25,000-square-foot commercial building with valuation of $75,000, be increased from $76 to $1,027.
–A taxicab permit fee of $132 for each taxicab under one owner, instead of existing flat fee per owner
–Raise the Building Division’s hourly rate for plan review from $125 per hour to $205 per hour, and raise the hourly rate for a building inspection from $115 to $172 per hour.
–Kitchen Remodel:  Valuation of $35,000. Current fees: $1,668; recommended fees: $2,023
–Single Family Home Addition of 500 square feet: Valuation is $100,000. Current fees:
$3,541; recommended fees: $4,379.
–Parking tickets to increase from $35 to $40
–Massage permits: The city would not increase its fees for massage technicians and establishments–which are $82 to $132, respectively. But the staff recommends the city assess those fees on an annual basis instead of every two years, and charge a business when it gets its license suspended. 

4 thoughts on “Walnut Creek to consider fee increases for city services

  1. So no fee increase for golf and theater, but fees will increase for after school sports and preschool. Guess which services the city council members use.

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  2. The City should tack on a non-resident fee.

    Why should WC shoulder the costs for non-residents participating in City-funded programs?

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  3. There should absolutely be a non-resident fee for services. I'd be curious do other local towns charge WC resident when we participate in their activities?

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