Archive for Wednesday, January 19, 2000

Planning and zoning fees may increase

January 19, 2000

A plan that would increase the fees Leavenworth County charges for planning and zoning services doesn't sit well with one county official.

"I think everything is high enough now," said Wayne Eldridge, county commission chairman.

Eldridge said his constituents would be hard-hit because the bulk of development in the county is occurring in his district, which encompasses those areas not in Leavenworth and Lansing.

But the county is losing money under the existing system, according to Linda Zacher, a member of the county planning staff who soon will become Tonganoxie's full-time city planner.

About a year ago, the county implemented a new fee schedule that calls for a flat fee, plus costs, to be paid for such services as preliminary and final plats. Plats basically are land maps necessary for development of land. Costs include mailing and publication notices, among other charges.

"That has not been very successful, and we're losing money terribly," Zacher said. "The fees are not enough to cover what we are putting into the reviews."

So the planning and zoning staff is working on a new fee schedule, which it will bring to county commissioners at their Jan. 27 meeting. Several types of fees will be up for review, including fees charged for special use permits, zoning variances, rezoning requests, lot splits and septic tank fees.

Zacher said the county charges $100 each for a preliminary plat and a final plat. Under the proposed fee increase, that amount would increase to $200 for each of the two plats, plus $5 for each additional lot on a preliminary plat.

"I believe that is reasonable, considering the amount of time it is taking us to do this and the number of revisions we are having to require," Zacher said.

But Eldridge isn't convinced.

"It's going to make things a lot harder," he said.

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