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Council approves building fee restructure

POSTED June 21, 2013 12:42 p.m.

Developers looking to obtain a building permit in Turlock might be in luck.

Earlier this month, the Turlock City Council voted 3-2  in support of subsidizing building fees in attempt to lure in more local investors.

The policy comes in light of interested developers who were looking for “more control,” in the permitting process, according to Turlock city principal engineer, Eric Picciano.

The policy will allow for a 25 percent discount on the actual cost of the permitting process based off of the city's fee table for processing permits. The applied discount would essentially generate a $135,000 subsidy that will aid the process of obtaining a building permit.

Along with creating this subsidy, the policy will also grant the city manager powers to adjust permitting fees for smaller scale projects that are not listed on the fee table.

The subsidy would come from the city’s general fund budget.

Council member Steven Nascimento said that the distribution of the funds would be better suited somewhere else, rather than creating the subsidy.

“I think that this is not an appropriate use of resources,” Nascimento said. “I would rather redirect those funds towards the general fund for some of those other programs.”

Council member Amy Bublak argued that although the subsidy may pose a short term cost for the city, it would pay off in the long run with new developments invested in the local economy.

“There’s an economy of scales so that developers can come in and do some building,” said Bublak. “From there, they can start business, which will have a rollover effect with people living here, using resources and giving back to the community.”

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