Advertisement

H.B. council approves boosting city fees as expectations for revenue increases taper off

H.B. council approves boosting city fees as expectations for revenue increases taper off
Courtney Conlogue and Kanoa Igarashi hold their first-place trophies after the U.S. Open of Surfing finals in August in Huntington Beach. Application fees for events such as the U.S. Open will increase under plans approved by the City Council. (File Photo)

The Huntington Beach City Council on Monday approved increasing fees, adjusting parking meter rates and modifying parking citations to help generate additional revenue.

With the unanimous vote, the council adopted two resolutions for fee increases and gave initial approval to an ordinance to increase parking meter rates to $2 an hour. The resolutions take effect immediately; the ordinance requires a second reading at a future meeting.

Advertisement

The city expects the changes to increase the general fund by about $1.11 million a year. The general fund is the city’s primary operating fund.

The actions are based on a Finance Commission presentation to the council in August. Commissioners suggested several potential budget-tightening and revenue-generating moves amid expectations that general fund revenue increases will taper off in coming years. Commissioners estimated possible budget deficits of $1.059 million to $1.385 million from fiscal 2019-20 through 2022-23.

Advertisement

City Chief Financial Officer Gilbert Garcia told the council during a study session earlier Monday that city staff made modifications to a proposal it originally presented Nov. 5. The council postponed action on the proposal at that time because it wanted further information.

During Monday’s study session, Chris Slama, acting community services director, described a restructured fee schedule for events.

For example, daily set-up and take-down charges for special events, which had been set at a flat rate of $75, will now vary based on the applicant. Special events may include beach weddings or small surf contests.

A Huntington Beach-based nonprofit will be charged $187, a local resident $200, a non-local nonprofit $212, a non-resident $250 and a commercial applicant $275.

For specific events such as the U.S. Open of Surfing and the Surf City Marathon, the application fee will see a small increase — to $225 from $200 or to $450 from $400, depending on the estimated attendance. Set-up and take-down costs also will be restructured for those types of events, based on categories for local nonprofits, non-local nonprofits and commercial applicants.

Councilwoman Kim Carr voiced concern for events such as the U.S. Open of Surfing, which takes weeks to build skate parks on the beach. But Slama said the restructuring hopefully will be an incentive to speed up the process.

Mayor Erik Peterson agreed with Slama, adding that the beach area is for the public.

Parking meter rates also will see an increase. Staff suggested raising the hourly price to $2 from $1.50 year-round instead of the initial proposal of $1.75 an hour.

Councilman Patrick Brenden said the increase to $2 is reasonable after the city maintained parking meter rates at $1.50 an hour for the past 20 years.

Increases in massage and entertainment permit fees will be phased-in over a five-year period. Entertainment permits for things ranging from live music to fortune telling will go from $285 to $402, and permits for massage establishments will rise from $495 to $565.

Fees for some parking tickets are expected to increase as well, including for street-sweeping and 72-hour violations.

Advertisement
Advertisement