From permits to park rentals, Long Beach just raised the price of some city fees

Fees that Long Beach charges for things like building permits, renting park space and even getting a soft-serve ice cream business license are changing thanks to a City Council vote Tuesday night that approved an update to the city’s master fee schedule.

The city’s policy requires fees to be set at the cost of the service provided unless there is “greater public benefit through the use of a lower fee.” A recent consultant’s study prompted this week’s changes.

The analysis is not complete but changes to the city’s fees for Development Services, Health and Human Services and Parks, Recreation and Marine Departments were approved Tuesday night. The city expects a second round of analysis on fees charged by Public Works, the Long Beach Police Department and Energy Resources could be completed by the summer.

Updating this first round of fees is expected to result in a $2.2 million increase in city revenue with about $767,886 ending up in the city’s general fund. Not all the fee changes were increases.

So what’s changing?

Short-term rentals: The city’s short-term rental ordinance—governing things like Airbnbs—included an opt-out clause where residents could gather signatures to ban short-term rentals from specific neighborhoods. Now, any neighborhood going through that petition process will also have to pay a $1,000 fee.

E-scooters: Violations by scooter vendors will cost them $100 per scooter. The violations include scooters left outside of designated areas where scooters are allowed to be operated and for scooters that exceed the maximum speed limit set by the city. The city previously charged a $100 impound fee for discarded scooters in the public right-of-way.

Appeals to city commissions/City Council: It will be more expensive for applicants and third parties to appeal projects to the city’s Planning Commission, Cultural Heritage Commission and City Council. Appeals by project applicants jumped to $4,820 for Planning Commission and $4,735 for an appeal to the City Council.

The fee for a third-party appeal jumped from $105 to $400 per appeal to the Planning Commission and City Council. An appeal to the Cultural Heritage Commission will now cost a third-party appellant $1,000, or $1,500 if it’s an appeal of a 100% affordable housing project.

An appeal to the Planning Commission over a Cultural Heritage Commission decision, like the one made over a proposed mural earlier this month, will now cost a third-party applicant $1,000.

Historic/landmark designation: A Mills Act application increased from $1,400 to $2,500. A new fee was added to cover the cost of having a landmark designation rescinded. That will cost $13,760.

Conditional-use permits: These permits that allow businesses to engage in activities not allowed in a given part of the city, like obtaining an alcohol license or constructing a specific type of business, are doubling in price. Conditional-use permits will now cost $8,400 per application.

Animal Care Services: The cost to apply to become a dog breeder is increasing significantly. An application that used to cost $230 will now cost $5,255. For people who started urban farms in their backyards, the cost to have chickens or goats is increasing from $28 per animal to $240.

Field rentals: The cost of renting a sports field is going up slightly. An hour on a city-owned baseball/softball or soccer/football field will cost $25-$40, and renting an artificial turf field will cost $25-$80 per hour depending on if it’s being used for youth or adults, nonprofit or for-profit entities, and if players are residents or visitors to Long Beach.

City inspections: While many permits for construction did go down, there were some that saw dramatic increases. Fire alarm inspections that used to cost $169 plus $4.14 per alarm are now a flat $780 fee. Sprinkler-system inspections also jumped to $780 and an underground piping inspection is more than doubling from $407 to $904 per permit.

For a full list of the changes click here.

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Jason Ruiz covers City Hall and politics for the Long Beach Post.
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