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LOS ALAMITOS : Development Fee Increases Approved

Residents and businesses will now pay substantially more to meet property development requirements under a fee schedule approved by the City Council this week.

Planning fees are paid to the city whenever there is development or redevelopment that requires a zone change, a special permit or some other review by the city. The fees cover the administrative costs incurred by the city staff.

The fee increases affect conditional use permits, which will go up from $200 to $400; variances, up from $100 to $400, and zoning ordinance amendments, up from $250 to $650.

Also, if an environmental impact report is required, the developer must pay $500. The service was free in the past.

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Other planning fees, including appeals, site plan reviews, general plan amendments and tentative tract and parcel maps, were also increased.

City Planner Larry Emerson said that while the increases are significant--in many cases doubling and in one case even quadrupling the old fees--they are comparable to the actual costs and will bring Los Alamitos in line with what other cities in the county charge for such services.

“I don’t think it is unreasonable at all to get these increases, to recover our costs,” Councilman Anthony R. Selvaggi said.

Over the last several months, the city has increased fees and fines for a variety of city services, including permit and annual monitoring fees for the city’s alarm system and parking ticket fines.

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The council was told at its midyear budget review session in January that the city--because of a declining sales tax base--would have to look for other sources of revenue.


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