EAST WENATCHEE — Boundary line changes, lot consolidations and alternative energy projects in Douglas County have new fees attached to them that better reflect work required to review permits, according to county officials.
The new transportation and land services fee schedule was approved by county commissioners May 18.
Boundary line adjustments and lot consolidation fees went from a flat $190 to $285 plus an $85 per lot fee — in addition to a tech fee.
“Some of the boundary line adjustments are very complex and involve numerous lots,” said the county’s Land Services Director Mark Botello. “A 16-lot boundary review adjustment permit requires a lot of review. We’ve also seen some clustering of existing lots in rural parts of the county, so we increased our fees for those. It’s not cost recovery, but a set fee that we think is fair.”
In the lot line consolidation applications, people with, say, five little lots are combining them to create two or three lots, Botello explained, which makes the lots more usable for some projects.
“We get quite a few of those,” he said.
The new fee structure is predictable, he said, rather than basing fees on time spent on each individual application review.
“If people have a boundary line adjustment and two lots, they know what it’s going to cost going in,” he said. “It’s comparable to what other jurisdictions are charging.”
The other change to the fee schedule is the introduction of an alternative energy permit processing and state concurrency review, which would apply to wind farms and solar farms, Botello said. The fees are based on the estimated value of the project.
“Those projects have to go through a state process, but we have a specific fee that applies in Douglas County,” he said. “There’s a pretty huge environmental review. We need to make sue it’s consistent with the state, so there’s a lot of time involved.”
“We don’t get many of those,” he said, “ but we are getting calls. We’re trying to stay ahead of it.”
Botello said this is the first time the fees have been raised since 2009.
For details on the changes, go to the fee schedule posted on the Douglas County website, douglascountywa.net, under the land services tab.