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Newport Beach council to consider increasing 275 fees and cutting 73 others

Newport Beach Civic Center
The city of Newport Beach regularly studies its wide-ranging fee menu on a rotating basis every three to five years. This year, officials studied community development, fire and police service fees.
(File Photo)

The Newport Beach City Council will consider updates to many user fees when it meets Tuesday night. The changes could result in 275 fees going up and more than 70 being reduced.

Though the city has closed City Hall and other facilities to the public to help stem the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, Tuesday’s council meeting will remain accessible in person, with social distancing blocking off many seats in the City Hall council chamber.

The meeting will start at 7 p.m. at 100 Civic Center Drive. Residents are being encouraged to watch via livestream at newportbeachca.gov.

The city regularly studies its wide-ranging fee menu on a rotating basis every three to five years. This year, officials studied community development, fire and police service fees.

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Overall, finance staff recommends increasing 275 fees, reducing 73, adding two, deleting 13 and leaving 48 unchanged.

Highlights include a proposed new $760 fee to go with preliminary applications for residential development. This fee is because of the new state Housing Crisis Act, which requires local governments to create a preliminary application for housing development projects to make the review process faster and provide certainty upfront on standards and requirements.

Fees for emergency medical services could increase by about 15% per ambulance trip to offset higher staffing, vehicle and equipment costs.

Of the 275 fees proposed to increase, 150 are in the building department. Most of those 150 would climb by less than 5%.

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If all recommended fees are approved, they would become effective July 1, with a two-year phase-in for planning department fees that climb 10% or more.

Adjusted for the phasing, the fees could generate about $580,000 in additional annual revenue, according to city staff.

The meeting Tuesday also will include an oral report on the city’s response to the coronavirus crisis.

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