Establishment of Fees
The current process of amending Chapter 4 to alter the City’s fees can lead to the creation of conflicts within the Code, inadvertent removal of fees, and requires additional administrative work compared to adopting fees by ordinance. In order to switch to adoption of fees by ordinance, every section of the City Code establishing fees must be amended.
Most sections of the City Code that reference fees have language stating that the fee charged for various permits and services shall be established by the City Council in Chapter 4 of the City Code. Some sections of the City Code outside of Chapter 4, particularly those dealing with fines or escrows, directly state the amount that must be paid. In a few cases, permit requirements are mentioned but no fee is established, even though the City has historically charged a fee for the permit. Due to the fact that some fees are adjusted annually, staff must prepare and City Council must approve an amendment to Chapter 4 of the City Code every year, and any City Code amendment that establishes a new permit must also include an amendment to Chapter 4 to establish any associated fees.
This system for establishing fees has several draw backs: 1) it makes it hard for staff, residents, and developers/contractors to find information on the City’s fees, as all of the City’s fees are not located in a single place; 2) it generates a large amount of administrative overhead as staff must continually update and amend the City Code; and, 3) it increases the likelihood that an administrative error will inadvertently remove fees or create inconsistencies between Chapter 4 and other Chapters of the City Code. For these reasons, staff is recommending that the City switch to establishing fees via an annual ordinance. While this change does require a significant one time amendment to the City Code, it will result in a more efficient process going forward.
The following sections of the Chanhassen City Code are subject to changes:
- Chapters 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20