City Council members have decided to allow a local veterans organization to pay city fees of $900 by installment rather than in a lump sum up front.
The American Legion Post 783 had asked the council to waive the $900, which includes $750 for a conditional-use permit and $150 in various charges the group will incur if it moves its headquarters to a new location.
To save money, the veterans plan to move from 11320 Beach Blvd. to a lower-rent building at 10576 Magnolia Ave., said William Snyder, a Korean War veteran who is planning the move. Snyder asked the council for the fee waiver, saying the group has contributed much to the city and wants to save the $900 for charitable uses.
But Councilwoman Linda J. Pappas Diaz said last week that she feared waiving the fees would be unfair to other groups and would set an uncomfortable precedent. Mayor Sal Sapien said the council would not have to grant extensions of fees to other groups.
The legion's permit application is in the hands of the Planning Commission. If the Planning Commission rejects it, the veterans should not be forced to pay the $750 permit fee, Sapien proposed. Normally, if a conditional-use permit application is denied, no money is returned to the applicant because city staff already has done review work.
City Manager Greg Hulsizer reported that planning staff members are likely to recommend that new site be approved. The Planning Commission is scheduled to consider the application on June 1. If approved, the veterans will begin paying for the permit Dec. 1.
American Legion members raise money for charity groups that work in the city and region. They also volunteer to help on various projects.