City fees for everything from alarm permits to zoning appeals have been changed by the Hermosa Beach City Council, and not all of them will go up.
Under a new framework for updating city fees passed by the City Council on Tuesday, Hermosa Beach will soon be collecting a host of new charges for city services, increasing the price of others, and, beginning this month, offering lower rates on a few.
The most controversial change, however, was delayed--a plan to begin charging people who call paramedics for ailments that don’t require a trip to the hospital. Two weeks ago, the council voted to bill residents $50 for such non-emergency “house calls” and non-residents $100. Additionally, the plan calls for raising existing transport fees from $65 to $100 for residents and from $105 to $150 for non-residents.
Implementation of these fees was delayed after Councilman Robert Essertier, the swing vote on the matter earlier this month, said Tuesday he wanted to change his vote. Essertier said he does not believe residents should be charged at all for emergency ambulance calls. The council decided to hold a public hearing on the matter next month.
The council decided to move forward with changes in the rest of the fee schedule. Decreases will take effect immediately, but increases and new fees will not be charged until next year.
Among the new fees will be a $60 charge by police for opening locked car doors and a $95 charge to unlock residences unless there is an emergency. The city also will begin charging developers and others with projects requiring public hearings $340 to notify nearby residents of the date and time of public review. And beginning next year, it will cost $440 to appeal an interpretation of the municipal zoning code to the Planning Commission.
Among the fees that will drop under the new schedule will be the $24 the city now charges for copies of police reports. Beginning this month, the price will drop to $18 for crime reports and for reports on accidents involving an injury, and $12 for non-injury accident reports. Fingerprinting will also drop to $12 from $25, and copies of police photographs will drop to $7 from $25.
But the price of a bicycle registration will double to $6, and the price of a burglary alarm permit will triple to $30. Conditional use permits will shoot to $600 from $320. And movie companies and sponsors of street fairs such as the annual Fiesta de las Artes will have to pay the actual cost of security--around $800--rather than the current subsidized fee of $350 to $450.