Inter-Departmental Correspondence





May 24, 2004



9:00 a.m.



June 8, 2004



Honorable Board of Supervisors



Marcia Raines, Director of Environmental Services



EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Adoption of Planning and Building Fees, County Fire Marshal Fees, Parks and Recreation and Coyote Point Marina Fees effective FY 2004/2005.





Adopt a resolution amending: (a) Planning and Building fees; and (b) County Fire Marshal plan review and inspection fees effective August 9, 2004.



Direct the Planning and Building Division to leave any vacancies that arise between now and the end of the next fiscal year unfilled to reduce staffing through attrition.



Adopt a resolution amending Parks and Recreation fees effective July 1, 2004 and Coyote Point Marina fees effective August 1, 2004.




Planning and Building Fees. Last year, the County Manager directed departments that have the ability to collect fees to raise those fees to increase cost recovery. Planning and Building fees were raised substantially, effective July 1, 2003.


Last year's Planning and Building fees were calculated to essentially eliminate the general fund contribution to the operation but only after including other resources, such as miscellaneous revenue from non-fee sources and their projected fund balance at the start of the current fiscal year, the idea being to use all existing resources before requesting higher fees.


The County Manager's Office has again underscored its desire to see the Planning and Building Division become self-supporting through fee revenues. We, therefore, recommend that we discontinue our practice of multi-year fee schedules adopted after each new labor contract. Instead, we recommend annual adoption of fee schedules each spring, with the fees set at the level necessary to recover the cost of operations at the level of service proposed for the next fiscal year.


The attached fees have been calculated to cover the cost of operations next fiscal year at the current level of staffing (44 FTE). However, there has been some reduction in permit activity that would warrant a reduction in staffing if service were maintained at current levels. For that reason, we recommend reducing staffing through attrition by holding vacancies until the end of next fiscal year and then assessing the appropriate level of service and staffing under the circumstances that prevail at that time and setting fees accordingly for Fiscal Year 2005/2006. The department will monitor revenues throughout the year and make expenditure adjustments as necessary to prevent appropriations exceeding revenues.


Parks and Recreation Fees. In last year's Parks and Recreation fee increase, 17 specific activity areas were increased approximately 20%-25%. For the Marina, berth rental fees were increased 3% and a waiting list fee was implemented. In February and March 2004, Parks Division and Marina staff reviewed the fees charged for use of the parks, park features, park services, marina berth rentals, and other marina services. This review included facility usage, operational costs, changes in the cost of living index, market rate comparisons (other agencies), and legal requirements. Based on that review, staff recommended Park fee schedule changes in the amount of $16,125 and marina fee schedule changes in the amount of $49,000 to the Parks and Recreation Commission. The Parks and Recreation Commission at its May 6, 2004 regular meeting reviewed and moved to recommend to the Board of Supervisors approval of the proposed changes in the Parks and Recreation and Marina fees.