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Morgan County looks to increase fees, building permits

August 30, 2005|by TRISH RUDDER

trishr@herald-mail.com

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - Building and other home-improvement license permits and subdivision fees could be increasing in Morgan County.

A public hearing on the proposed fees will be Thursday, Sept. 8, at 11 a.m. at the county commission office.

Alma Gorse, head of the Morgan County Planning Office, told the Morgan County Commission at last Friday's meeting that it has been 10 years since fees were increased. She said an "upward adjustment is overdue."

Permit fees are the primary source of revenue for the planning commission, she said.

Gorse said the present fee structure will not cover operating expenses even with the "dramatic increase in the number of applications processed annually since 2002."

Gorse said the current minimum permit fee is $5. Commission President Glen Stotler said the minimum charge should be $10 to cover processing.

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"When we reviewed the current fees, we looked at neighboring counties and found that our fees were considerably lower," Gorse said.

"This is long overdue," she said, "and due to the increase in development in the county, the costs to process these permits and applications and the demand on the planning office is overwhelming. There is a need to consider hiring additional staff to keep up with this workload."




Proposed hikes



Proposed building and home-improvement fees and changes in Morgan County include:

Residential building permit fees:

  • Residential/Recreational - $50 base fee plus 10 cents per square foot above-grade area (total living/finished space)

  • Mobile Homes - 5 cents per square foot


The current fee for residential/recreational/mobile homes is 21/2 cents per square foot

  • Outbuildings - 3 cents per square foot


The current fee for outbuildings/unattached garage is 2 cents per square foot

Improvements/additions:

  • 5 cents per square foot for residences (living room, den, sunroom, etc.)

  • 3 cents per square foot for deck and porches


The current fee for additions/improvements is 11/2 cents per square foot

  • Renovations/fences: $20 (new siding, roof, yard fence, etc.)


The current fee for overall renovations (replacement of windows/roofs) is $10

Commercial improvement permits:

  • Projects less than 2,000 square feet: $50 base fee plus 15 cents per square foot

  • Projects more than 2,000 square feet: $250 base fee plus 15 cents per square foot


The current fee is $150 application fee plus 5 cents per square foot

Subdivision Fees:

  • Minor subdivisions (4 lots or less): $250 application fee; $75 per lot; $50 advertising fee

  • Primary plat (5 to 10 lots): $500 application fee; $75 per lot; $100 advertising fee

  • Final plat (5 to 10 lots): $250 application fee; $50 advertising fee

  • Preliminary plat (11 or more lots): $500 application fee; $100 per lot; $100 advertising fee

  • Final plat (11 or more lots): $250 application fee; $50 advertising fee


All engineering fees billed separately

The current subdivision fees for major and minor applications: $200 base fee; $50 per lot; $25 advertising fee.

Miscellaneous fees:

  • Farm application administrative fee: $20 each building

  • Copies of ordinances: $10 each (currently $5/$3 each)

  • Copy of comprehensive plan: $25 each (currently $10 each)

  • Copies of building permits: $1 per page
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