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GARDEN GROVE : Developer Fee Hike Encounters Delay

The opposition of one City Council member has delayed--at least for one week--a new schedule of development fees that could double and triple some charges.

“It looks like we’re trying to drive developers out of Garden Grove,” said Councilman Robert F. Dinsen at this week’s council meeting, where the proposed new fee schedule was considered. “I wouldn’t blame the developers if they boycotted Garden Grove,” Dinsen added.

But Councilman Francis L. Kessler defended the proposed hikes.

“These fees come nowhere near the cost” of administering the planning process, Kessler said.

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Currently, a developer seeking a zone change pays a $600 fee. Under the proposal, a developer would pay a $1,000 deposit and actually be charged $35 an hour for city staff time.

“If it only cost $700,” City Manager George L. Tindall said, “the developer would get $300 back.” The city estimates that a zone change typically costs Garden Grove $1,425 when all expenses--particularly staff time--are added.

Dinsen argued that Garden Grove’s new fees would be “higher than the average of what’s charged by other cities around us.” Currently, Anaheim charges $720 for a zone change, plus $20 an acre; Westminster asks for $770 without a general plan amendment, $885 with, and Santa Ana gets $1,250.

While a majority of Garden Grove council members indicated that they could support the fee increase, they also agreed with Dinsen’s request for more time to study the matter and continued it to Monday.

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The proposed fee schedule is budgeted to produce an additional $250,000 in revenue for the 1990-91 fiscal year.


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