Smart Growth for Vernon, CT
Town to raise building permit fees

By Jason Rowe
Journal Inquirer
December 8, 2006

VERNON - Looking to bring building fees in line with those in other towns, the Town Council has voted to slightly raise the cost of the base building permit fee.

Effective Feb. 1, building permit fees will be increased from $14 per $1,000 of construction costs to $15.

The Town Council unanimously approved the fee hike during the consent agenda portion of Tuesday's Town Council meeting. Town Administrator Christopher Clark recommended the increase after studying building department fees in surrounding towns.

"Upon review of the Building Department fee information, which is a somewhat dated report, it appears that larger communities are heading in the direction of increasing their fees," Clark wrote in a Nov. 30 memorandum to Mayor Ellen L. Marmer. According to the report, East Hartford, Newington, and West Hartford all have a $15 fee, Clark said.

Glastonbury charges its residents $17 per $1,000 of construction value while Wethersfield and Windsor Locks charge up to $20, Clark said.

Clark said the fee increase is also a good way to cover the costs of some of the changes in the town's building department.

In August, the Town Council approved the job description for an ordinance compliance inspector, a part-time worker who would be charged with making field inspections and determining if appropriate changes have been made to non-compliant properties.

The new inspector - who is assigned work by the town's building official - was added to deal with the increasing workload of the town's Building Department, which is charged with issuing building permits and investigating complaints about local properties.

In all, the building department issues roughly 1,700 building permits each year, according to a Nov. 30 letter from Clark to Republican Town Councilman Daniel E. Anderson.

©Journal Inquirer 2006