In addition to outsourcing more operations, the EBR department plans to modify the price list | New

The permit fees for residential and commercial developments in the parish of East Baton Rouge could be adjusted next year if the metropolitan council adopts the changes proposed by the development department of the city-parish.

These changes tie in with other restructurings within the department that involve the granting of city-parish outsourcing permits, inspections and site review for residential and commercial developments in 2022 – which officials say officials say speed up what have always been slow processes.

“This fee proposal is something that the parish city has been discussing with the builders of the East Baton Rouge parish for many years,” said Rachael Lambert, director of development for the parish city. “The proposed fees are similar to other neighboring jurisdictions and will also reduce the department’s burden on the general fund, bringing the department closer to covering operational costs from the office of permits and inspection.”

Plans to outsource more city-parish services next year get more “yes” votes from the Metro Council than opposition despite these controls.

The Metropolitan Council will hold a public hearing and possibly vote on the new pricing structure on December 8.

So far, the council has raised no objections to the department’s intentions to expand the scope of services it outsources to the South Central Planning and Development Commission next year.

The move would cost taxpayers an additional $ 600,000 in 2022 if Metropolitan Council approved the $ 1 billion plus budget proposed by Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome for next year.

SCPDC is a government entity that manages site plan review and authorization processes for several parishes in the state.

Lambert said there were several vacancies within the technical staff responsible for permits and reviewing plans for the department, which, together with the volume of permits in the parish, made it difficult for them to issue permits or quickly review the site maps.

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Leaders of the Home Builders Association of Greater Baton Rouge have already shown their support for the changes underway for the Development Ministry, saying the parish city has worked with them to improve the level of service which they say is removing layers. of “complexity” and frustration. for their members.

“This is a positive step forward for the builders of East Baton Rouge Parish,” HBA / GBR board chairman Brandon Ivey said in a statement. “The previous process can be tedious and lead to frequent and significant delays, which adds time and money to the construction process. “

Karen Zito, president and CEO of the organization, added in a separate statement: “Allowing South Central Planning to handle all permits will have a positive impact on timelines and give the parish fiscal responsibility.”

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The East Baton Rouge Parish budget is expected to increase by more than $ 50 million, or 5.2%, in 2022, with further efforts to improve permits and maintenance …

With the proposed changes to the fee schedule, Lambert said the parish city currently charges a fixed fee of $ 60 for the review of the residential site plan, with building permit fees varying between $ 3 per $ 1,000. for projects under $ 100,000 and $ 1,100 plus $ 1.50 per $ 1,000 for projects totaling over $ 500,000.

On the commercial side, the plan revision fees are 4 cents per square foot, the building permit fees being in the same range as for the residential.

The new fee structure would combine site plan review and permit fees for residences at 50 cents per square foot. Commercial permits for residential developments would cost $ 125.

With commercial developments, the sitemap review would be $ 3 per $ 1,000 for projects under $ 500,000 and $ 1,500 plus 5 cents per $ 1,000 for those over $ 500,000. For building permit fees, the range would be $ 5 per $ 1,000 for projects under $ 100,000 and up to $ 2,100 plus $ 1.50 per $ 1,000 for construction projects. over $ 500,000.

“With the new permit structure and the proposed fee, the parish city will be able to essentially retain these fees and then compensate the SCPDC for access to its plan review staff,” Lambert said. “The proposed changes will allow the department to raise the level of service in other critical areas with staffing issues.”

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