About the Author
Elizabeth Pagano is the editor of the Austin Monitor.
Most Popular Stories
Discover News By District
Check your PDR receipts
Monday, December 15, 2014 by Elizabeth Pagano
A Building and Development Fees Audit, which evaluated whether the Planning and Development Review Department assesses land development-related fees in accordance with the City Council-approved fee schedule, revealed some problems Monday. Specifically, the audit found that 40 percent of transactions in the tested sample were incorrect. Most of the errors came from the department collecting lower fees than it should, though. Planning and Development Review Director Greg Guernsey explained that, previously, fees were easier to apply because they had been the same since 1993. Since 2012, the department has implemented fee changes in phases, leading to them being “in flux” for the past two years. He added that the AMANDA system “isn’t as flexible as they’d like,” and trying to work with— or around — that inflexibility can lead to trouble. He said that in some cases, the system was in conflict with what the actual fees are, and applied fees incorrectly. Guernsey said the department hopes to have a new system that will make it easier to adapt to the new fees in place by next year. In terms of plans to refund the handful of customers who were overcharged — given the anonymous nature of the audit — that will require some detective work. Customers who suspect they were overcharged might want to do that work themselves.
Join Your Friends and Neighbors
We're a nonprofit news organization, and we put our service to you above all else. That will never change. But public-service journalism requires community support from readers like you. Will you join your friends and neighbors to support our work and mission?