After comparison with other area cities

Following a comparison of the fees other Central Oregon cities charge for land-use applications, the city of Madras has approved increases for a variety of fees.

In the case of a land-use appeal to the City Council, the fee doubled from $750 to $1,500, more in line with fees charged by Prineville ($1,500), Redmond ($4,088), and Sisters ($1,744).

The steapest increase is for a comprehensive plan amendment, which rose from $800 to $9,000 — more than 11 times the original cost. Prineville charges $4,000; Redmond, $9,568; and Sisters, $9,608.

Nick Snead, director of the Madras Community Development Department, said told the City Council last month that the city was "not even coming close to recovering costs" before the increases.

In the case of the comprehensive plan amendment, Snead said that there is an extensive process required to develop findings, as well as required public hearings.

In his overview to the council, Snead explained that the department is not currently self-sustaining, based on fee revenue, and hasn't been since 2008-09. The department has required subsidies to balance its budget since 2009-10.

For the current fiscal year, the department will be down to one full-time employee. By comparison, Prineville, with a population of 9,245, will have two; Redmond, with 26,345 people, will have 10; and Sisters, with 2,080 people, will have three. Each of the other cities' community development departments is receiving a larger percentage of subsidy from their general funds than Madras, which will receive 40 percent this year.

"We're trying to be reasonable," he said, adding that there is sometimes a certain level that is subsidized by the city.

Other application fee increases include: annexation, $3,000 from $1,000; comprehensive plan with a rezone, $4,000 from $800; final plat review, $500 from $250; lot line adjustment, $500 from $150; partition, $1,500 from $600; planned unit development, $2,000, plus $80 a lot from $1,200, plus $30 a lot; subdivision, $2,000, plus $80 a lot from $1,000 plus $25 a lot; rezone or ordinance amendment, $4,000 from $800; variance, $1,500 from $300; and zone or text amendment, $4,000 from $800.

The City Council approved the fee schedule in a resolution June 25.

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