Youngtown AZ started the process of a fee increase for zoning and development projects at the beginning of 2019. Prior to this, Youngtown had not increased any planing, zoning, or development fees in over a decades time, so this increase doesn’t seem unwarranted. The Youngtown area is experiencing an economic increase, so city employees set out to research where their fees were at compared to neighboring cities. The results they found were that Youngtown was among the bottom of this list.
What types of fees will increase due to this new model? Basically it’s only fees associated with permitting, planning and zoning for development projects. When you are building a new business, going through tenant improvements of a business, or making home renovations permits may be required. Simple things like painting, or adding built ins do not require any city approval or permits. Larger projects, however, that may involve electric, plumbing, expansion, etc. will always require a permit first.
Most cities have a very similar process for this. A contractor or architect will create drawings of plans and submit them to the city to receive a permit. Most major changes require permit approval before construction can commence. At the time of permit submittal, a cost is involved. Depending on the extent of the project, fees will vary a bit. City employees then go over these drawing and plans and make sure that everything planned is up to code. Depending on how backed up the city is, these permits can take days or weeks to be approved. These city services are not free, as the utmost professionals are looking over plans to make sure no issues will occur. Paying the permit fees will ultimately be much cheaper in the long run then running into these problems down the road.
Youngtown has published fee comparisons with similar communities such as Avondale, Buckeye, Litchfield and Peoria. This increase will help to cover town out-of-pocket fees associated with publications required by statue. Youngtown prides itself on never letting quality of service be determined by revenue received. So far, the community seems to understand and support the need for these increases. Development projects are never cheap, and typically permitting costs are of the lowest involved. The real cost involved is with materials and construction as well as labor.
For more information, or to see the proposed fee schedule and comparison chart please visit https://www.youngtownaz.org/proposed_fee_increase