Groveport reviews its building and zoning fees

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Groveport Village Council is considering an approximate 30 percent increase in its building and zoning fee schedule.

"It sounds like a lot, but it’s been five years since the last increase," said Chief Building Official Stephen Moore at council’s March 17 committee of the whole meeting. He added that the proposed increase would put village in line with what other communities charge.

The proposed increase came as part of a recommendation in a study of the village’s fee schedule by Springsted Incorporated. The complete study, including the new proposed five page building and zoning fee schedule, is available for public view at the Groveport Municipal Building, 655 Blacklick St.

"…fees and expenditures were closely looked at to determine a cost recovery percentage to increase building fees and permits to avoid subsidy from the general fund," Moore stated in a written report to council.

He noted that, along with increasing fees, several new fees are being recommended and other fees would be simplified.

"We also have kept permit fees as low as possible for existing homeowners while still recovering as much of the total cost of the services provided," wrote Moore.

Some council members were wary of the proposed increase.

"It seems like the (existing) fees are so high right now," said Councilman Shawn Cleary, who added he has spoken to some local business people who told him they "got killed on fees."

Councilman Ed Rarey added, "This is a big chunk of money for a small business person or a resident."

Rarey noted he was "appalled at the cost" a local business person recently had to absorb to relocate a sign.

"I’m not ready to act on this (the fee increase). I want more time to review it," said Rarey.

Council will review the fee increase study and discuss it further at its April 21 committee of the whole meeting.

Other Groveport news

•Village Administrator Jon Crusey asked council if it wished to abolish an ordinance that sets fees and requirements for coin operated amusement devices and arcades in the village. He noted the ordinance has been on the books since 1982 and has not been enforced for some time. Council stated they’d like the ordinance to be rewritten to remove the fee requirements and to give more teeth to its regulatory requirements. Council will consider the issue further at a future meeting.

•Council is considering updates to its public speaker request form, which citizens complete in order to speak before council. Proposed changes to the form include adding notes that: the speaker should include their name, address, and reason for speaking; a five minute time limit per speaker will be enforced; no person should be permitted to speak more than two times for or against the proposition under consideration; no one may speak a second time until after all other speakers are heard at least once; and the mayor, or president pro tem, subject to a challenge by council, may refuse the floor to any speaker where the tactics are "obviously dilatory and not in the best interest of council."

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