Two planning fees will increases in the City of Peekskill next year.
Artists certificates, which are awarded to artists so they can live in the downtown district, will increase to $25 after being provided at no cost for a number of years. The interpretation of the building inspector fee will increase from $500 to $1,000.
The fee increases follow a move made by the city council last week to update its building permitting fee schedule.
Anthony Ruggiero, the city’s planning director, said the adjustments are part of the annual process his department goes through to ensure fees are in line with neighboring communities.
Ruggiero said the artist certification program has been in place for about 20 years. The $25 fee will cover administrative costs, according Ruggiero.
The interpretation of the building inspector fee was created in 2010.
One proposed fee increase that the city council didn’t sign off on Monday is the use variance fee. The planning department proposed increasing that fee from $750 to $2,000.
The use variance was fee was originally $5,000, but was reduced to $750 in 2010. Ruggiero said the $5,000 fee is more in line with what neighboring communities charge.
Drew Claxton, the city’s deputy mayor, said one of the reasons the fee was dropped is that many residents had complained that variance fees, which are nonrefundable if the variance request is denied, had become too pricey.
Claxton said she heard from a lot of residents that some of the rezoning that has happened in the city has placed many houses in commercial districts.
“When they want to expand, or upgrade their house or whatever, they have an exorbitant fee, because it’s a use variance increasing residential in a commercial district,” Claxton said.
Ruggiero said his department is working on a formula that will use square footage as guide in determining variance fees.