The decision was made by city council March 13 after a few months of discussion and research initiated at the Dec. 13 meeting.
The purpose of the new fees are to encourage owners and project applicants to complete residential construction projects for new homes in a timely manner, to avoid numerous permit extensions and to help offset the impact of construction on city resources, staff had said previously.
The following fees are in effect:
- Initial permit fee* – $4,100
- First extension – $6,150 (or 1.5 times initial fee)
- Second extension – $10,250 (or 2.5 times initial fee)
- Third extension – $12,300 (or 3 times initial fee)
*Based on new residential construction at 5,000 square feet
While an initial building permit lasts two years, each extension is valid for one year.
Anjali Naini, coordinator of building and development services, also provided a new residential construction permit fee comparison chart for council’s consideration. The estimate was based on a 5,000 square foot house.
- West Lake Hills – $4,100
- Bee Cave – $1,650 (including one reinspection)
- Lago Vista – $1,525
- Rollingwood – $2,150 (assumes at least one plan resubmittal)
- Dripping Springs – $2,275
- Horseshoe Bay – $3,500 ($1,750 + matching deposit)
Because each city determines its fees in different ways the comparison is not “apples to apples,” Naini said. She also noted that permit lengths were not listed – West Lake Hills permits are valid for two years – and the other cities vary. See below for a breakdown of the fees:
City Administrator Robert Wood said West Lake Hills’ permit fees are high because the city is particularly engaged in construction projects with once-a-week site visits and numerous regulations and inspections – such as Oak Wilt – that other cities might not have.
These careful processes take up significant staff time, Mayor Linda Anthony added.
“I think we do a lot more guiding through the process than you can expect from most municipalities,” City Attorney Alan Bojorquez agreed.
Council also moved to require a refundable deposit for home construction projects that will be priced at twice the initial permit fee.