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Elizabeth Pagano is the editor of the Austin Monitor.
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BoA still pondering fees
Wednesday, October 5, 2016 by Elizabeth Pagano
Board of Adjustment members have reiterated a desire to lower recently increased fees that are charged by the city for planning and review activities related to cases brought before the board. Nonetheless, an update on the matter at their last meeting showed not much progress had been made on that front, due to overextended board members. (For now, the board is looking at fees for neighborhood associations, but Board Member Eric Goff expressed a desire to look at fees for individuals as well.) Board Member Bryan King noted that he had just finished raising $1,640.08 for an interpretation case that will be before the board next month. He also told his colleagues that some City Council offices are currently exploring the idea that fees should not apply in cases when an appeal of the city’s code interpretation is successful. “To me, that is perfectly reasonable,” said Board Member Michael Von Ohlen. “The city has numerous staff. They’ve got all of our tax dollars. They’ve got the ability to build their case up very, very well, whereas an individual homeowner is on their own nickel and dime.” He also made the point that structuring fees this way will discourage frivolous interpretations. In the end, King offered to return with a report on where things stand in November.
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