The City of Zephyrhills is updating its comprehensive list of fee schedules — and many come tagged with price increases.
The proposed fee resolutions and amendments incorporate public record requests, venue rental policies, cemetery lots, and site plan reviews, among others.
The fees were discussed during an hour-long city council workshop meeting on Oct. 23.
Perhaps the largest proposed change is to the city’s site plan review fees for new business development projects, such as restaurants, retailers and so on.
Under Resolution No. 741-17, the Site Plan Review Fee will double to $1,000, up from $500 per 1,000 gross square feet.
Todd Vande Berg, the city’s planning director, said the fees haven’t been adjusted in several years and would still be in line with surrounding communities, such as Port Richey, New Port Richey and Plant City.
He also noted the proposed fees are still considerably less than the $5,000 charged by the county for similar projects.
City Manager Steve Spina added site plans reviews and development projects require the services and resources of nearly a dozen city staffers from multiple departments.
“It’s a lot of staff time to review and coordinate all the different aspects that go into these kinds of reviews,” Spina said during the workshop.
“In the long run, you have to justify your costs. I think this helps us do that. It helps us get reimbursed when we hire consultants to do things, and it helps with some of the staff time that goes into it—and it’s a lot of time for them,” he said.
Rental policies for both the Alice Hall Community Center and the Airport Venue were also presented at the workshop.
The charge for renting out Alice Hall will remain at $40 per hour, but minimum hourly requirements have been added, under Resolution No. 739-17.
A rental minimum of two hours will be required from Monday through Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., while a minimum of four hours will be required for rentals Friday, Saturday and Sunday, between 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Meanwhile, the city plans to establish rental prices for its community airport venue, which is home to the annual Pigz in Z’ Hills BBQ & Blues Fest.
Since its launch in January, Spina said the city has struggled to determine rate charges for event hosts.
The 14-acre community venue site, at 5040 Airport Road, includes a 20-by-40 stage and 50 vendor spaces equipped with water and electricity, along with additional space for freestanding vendors, business expos and children’s activities.
The venue is situated north of the Zephyrhills’ City Yard, stretching to Airport Road and backing up the southern boundary of the Lincoln Heights subdivision.
Rates will be based on a sliding scale, dependent on attendee figures and if alcohol is served, per Resolution No. 745-17.
For example, renting the venue for less than 500 people could cost between $300 and $360. An event with more than 10,000 attendees, such as Pigz in Z’ Hills, could cost somewhere between $2,600 and $3,100.
Those figures also incorporate cleanup, city personnel and employee labor. There’s an additional surcharge for booths and trailers.
Spina said the finalized fees first have to be “cleaned up” and will be presented to the council at a later date.
Besides venues, shade hangar rentals at the Zephyrhills Municipal Airport will increase to $125 per month, up from $95. All other prices at the airport will remain the same, per Resolution No. 743-17.
Those aren’t the only price changes coming to the city.
Cemetery and cremation lots at the city’s Oakside Cemetery are increasing for residents and non-residents, the first price change since 2005.
Cemetery lots for residents and city employees will be $800, up from $750, while cremation lots will be $350, up from $300, under Resolution No. 740-17.
Cemetery lots for non-residents jumps to $1,200, up from $810, while cremation lots will be $525, up from $350.
Spina defended the price increase for nonresidents during the workshop, noting many people will “shop” cemeteries from across the region, which may eventually lead to lot availability issues for the city in several years from now.
“We have a lot of people coming from St. Petersburg or elsewhere to use the cemetery because it’s less expensive. It could be a space issue down the road,” he said.
A fee policy for public records requests also was introduced.
Requests estimated to require more than an hour of a city employee’s time; a minimum deposit of $25 will be required. Additional charges will be added to cover the cost of posting and packaging.
Spina noted the city has received an influx of requests daily and weekly, often related to council actions, police incident reports, and personnel records.
“People have a right to the public record, so you have to try to determine to balance those customer needs,” he said.
Other workshop items, including transportation impact fees and fire user fees, were tabled for a later date.
The basic fee schedule, per Resolution No. 738-17, includes the following figures:
Single-sided copies, up to 8 ½” x 14” – $0.15
Double-sided copies, up to 8 ½” x 14” – $0. 20
Ledger size, 11” x 17” – $0.20
Certified copy of a public record – $1
DVD/CD of electronic or audio public records – $5
DVD/CD imaged documents (building plans and permits) – $5
Duplicate videotape – $1
8 ½” x 11” — $2
11” x 13” — $2
18” x 24” — $5
22” x 34” — $5
24” x 26” — $5
34” x 44” — $10
36” x 48” — $10
Published November 8, 2017