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CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEM NO. 21

Meeting Date: August 26, 2008

Subject/Title: Adopt a Resolution Adopting the 2008/09 Cost Allocation Plan & Schedule of City Fees

Prepared by: Kerry Breen, Business Services Manager
Marna Huber, Management Analyst

Submitted by: Pamela Ehler, Director of Finance and Information Systems

RECOMMENDATION
Adopt a Resolution Adopting the 2008/2009 Cost Allocation Plan and Schedule of City Fees.

PREVIOUS ACTION
In April of 2000, the City contracted with DMG-Maximus to update current City fees & charges. DMG-Maximus worked with City staff in Community Development, Public Works, Parks & Recreation, and Police in order to develop a system for updating the fee-for-service charges provided by these departments. City staff provided information relating to the actual time it takes to produce or complete each user fee or permit service. The hourly rate calculations were applied to the actual time estimates to come up with a total cost of providing each user fee activity. The total costs were then compared to the current fees to yield an over or under-recovery of costs. Fees were then adjusted up or down to equal cost. A plan was developed to calculate these fees. The Cost Allocation Plan is updated annually.

On November 14, 2000, by Resolution No. 2198 the City Council adopted the DMG-Maximus Report for computing fees for City services and revising the City’s service fees.

The City Council has periodically revised development impact fees for public facilities, including the most recent revisions contained in Resolution 2005-222 adopted on September 13, 2005.

On August 28, 2007, by Resolution No. 2007-197, the City Council adopted the 2007/2008 Cost Allocation Plan and revised the City’s Service Fees.

BACKGROUND
State law requires that fees be reasonably related to the actual cost of providing the service. The purpose of a Cost Allocation Plan is to conform to state law and to have a method to recover direct and indirect costs associated with providing services and establish a framework for computing fees and charges. The Cost Allocation Plan computes two overhead factors, departmental and City-wide, both of which are applied against direct costs to determine the total cost of providing a given unit of service. Departmental and City-wide overhead factors are based on the distribution of expenditure categories including personnel, operating and ongoing capital costs as outlined below:


Departmental and Other
Overhead Factors
Community Development 42.95%
Public Works 129.73%
Parks and Recreation 104.34%
Police 42.32%
Redevelopment 78.25%
Other City-wide 31.32%

Fee Changes:
Administration
The Candidate Filing Fee of $25.00 is removed from the Fee program. This fee is set per California Election Code section 10228 which requires that the fee be set by Ordinance. Staff will prepare an ordinance for Council consideration to address this fee.

The Passport Execution Fee was reduced from $30.00 to $25.00. The fee was lowered by the Federal Government according to Federal Regulations. The City may not charge anything additional.

As a house keeping measure, staff updated the fee sheet based upon fees listed in the City’s Municipal Code which include Peddler/Solicitor Permit found in section 5.48.050 and Taxi Permit per section 5.60.050.

The fee for subpoenaed staff as witness is being added to the fee program pursuant to California Government Code Section 68096.1 (b) which states that the amount of one hundred fifty dollars together with the subpoena shall be tendered to that local agency for each day that the employee is required to remain in attendance pursuant to the subpoena.

Pursuant to Election Code 13307, a candidate’s statement of qualifications may be filed by the candidates. An estimate for the cost of printing a candidate’s statement of qualifications is provided to the City from the County. The candidate is charged the cost of the estimate. Once the actual costs are received from the County, the candidate is notified, if they have paid an amount in excess of the actual costs the amount will be refunded to the candidate and if the estimate is under the actual costs, the candidate will be billed for the amount owed.

Community Development
The environmental filing fees payable to the County Clerk and Department of Fish and Game are collected from project applicants along with planning application fees for certain projects requiring posting of the environmental determination at the County Clerk’s Office. The fees collected on behalf of this process are included within the Cost Allocation Plan as “actual cost.”

The fees associated with Park Planning that are now included within the Community Development Department fee structure are now rounded to the nearest dollar for all fees over $50.00.

The Habitat Planning Fees are included within the Fee program as approved by City Council on October 9, 2007.

The Outdoor Dining/Display Fees are included within the Fee program as approved by City Council on December 11, 2007.

On May 13, 2008, the Residential Condominium Conversion Fee was established and is included within the established fee schedule.

Plan check fees which were previously separate from entitlement processing have been consolidated into a single fee. This assures that both fees will be collected at the time of initial application since the individual fees are components of a single entitlement activity. A separate Design Review Non-Residential Plan Check fee was retained. This fee is for performing plan check services for non-residential accessory structures. No entitlement fee is charged for the accessory structure but plan check services are provided. The following has been added to clarify the Council Policy as stated in the CAP as to the timing of fee collection. “All Planning Fees shall be collected at the time of the initial application for the entitlement process.”

Building Fees now include a better more thorough reference to the Municipal Code authorized Master Plan Check Program. An adjustment to the inspection times (where applicable) from ½ hour to 1 hour was made to more accurately reflect time spent by City staff.

A flat rate schedule is now included for window replacement to provide a consistent fee schedule that accurately reflects time spent by City staff for issuance and inspection services.

A flat rate schedule is now included for photovoltaic systems. This creates a consistent fee schedule that accurately reflects time spent by City staff for issuance and inspection services. This will facilitate the installation of photovoltaics by making the cost to the applicant easily known and uniform in application.

A reissuance fee has been included that would be collected when a building permit is reissued. The fee is ½ of the fee in affect at the time of reissuance.

A completion fee has been added that equitably addresses situations where contractors abandon a project, homes go into foreclosure or homes are sold without permits having been finalized. This fee covers staff time expended when work is to be performed by a third party not associated with the original permit.

Provide a simplified permit for minor residential remodels for residential permits only when the work is localized to one area and the item count is ten (10) or less such as a bathroom remodel. Under the existing fee structure, the cost of electrical, plumbing and mechanical permit fees for a bathroom remodel could exceed the cost of the work performed. This fee will more accurately reflects time spent by City staff for issuance and inspection services.

Finance
As approved by City Council on May 13, 2008, in support of the City’s collection policy, a fee sheet has been added associated with attorney services, collection agency services and lien and assessments necessary during collection efforts.

The $250.00 late fee and 5% delinquency penalty is now included within the Utility Billing Fee sheet as approved by Ordinance 741, adopted in April 2003 for late return of water meters and/or late payment of balance due.

Parks
The Aquatic Fees coincide with the fees adopted by City Council on December 11, 2007. The current activity’s guide includes these fees for the 2008 swim season. The CPI fee adjustments will go into effect on January 1, 2009 for the 2009 swim season as noted within the current fee schedule.

Special event registration fees such as the “fun run” are rounded to the nearest dollar. This fee can be prepaid but is usually collected at the event.

The gasoline cost associated with the generator rental has been updated to reflect “actual cost” in the fee schedule.

The Brentwood Union School District Facilities Fee Schedule which includes Gym use fees was removed as the newly created MOU between the City of Brentwood and the Brentwood Union School District will cover this use.

Staff will begin rounding those Park and Recreation fees which are updated by CPI to the nearest dime which will occur in July, 2009. The fees within the Parks and Recreation fee sheets that are not subject to CPI increases are: Deposits and Insurance, Jr. Life Guard (set by Council Resolution in December 2007), and the Brentwood Senior Club Socials and Card Memberships, which are pass through accounts.

Public Works

The Tentative Map Review Fee had been split into two separate fees which better reflect the additional time required for review of Tentative Subdivision Maps associated with development projects; whereas tentative parcel maps are processed for the sole purpose of dividing property and do not typically include additional improvements. The Tentative Parcel Map Review fee has been established at $1,500 + $10 per lot.

The initial deposit for Final Map Checking has been increased to cover the actual costs associated with labor. As with deposit accounts, any funds remaining at project completion are returned to the applicant.

Staff has included the current price to purchase compost bins of $55.00 within the Solid Waste fee sheet. The sale of compost bins are part of the Solid Waste Enterprise educational program to promote home composting which helps in meeting our state mandated landfill diversion.

The seasonal distribution of leaf bags has been added to the Solid Waste fee sheet in order to provide free leaf bags to customers annually from October 1 through January 31. This program helps to keep storm drains clean and will increase the recycling of yard waste material. The cost associated with the free leaf bags is approximately $1,000 per year.

Staff has included a fee for water and wastewater sample analysis that could be performed for customers, local water and wastewater agencies. This fee would generate a slight increase to revenue however staff is not certain of how many samples would be analyzed at this time. Staff has conducted an analysis of time to process and analyze samples and established associated costs for each sample based upon this analysis. The fees will compensate for staff time and materials used to complete the analysis, no additional staff will be required as most tests will be completed in conjunction with routine samples that the City is currently required to perform at this time.

As part of the City’s water conservation efforts, the Waterwise CD that identifies various landscaping options with low water usage materials and plants is now free of charge to Brentwood Residents unless mailed to the customer, postage costs would then be collected.

The City will review and update the fees and charges on an annual basis. All Fees are proposed to be adjusted at the beginning of each fiscal year by the annual changes to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), unless a fee is tied to an alternate index such as the Engineering News Record (ENR). A CPI of 3.2% was used for all applicable fees in the Cost Allocation Plan. The application of the CPI percentage to our existing fees result in odd cents being included in the new fee calculations. For ease of collection and recordkeeping, certain fees are then rounded to the nearest dollar or nearest quarter. Fees rounded to the nearest dollar include the Regional Growth Management Program (RGMP), Downtown Parking In-Lieu, Affordable Housing, and Planning and Engineering Fees over $50 which are not already tied to specific hourly rates in the Cost Allocation Plan. Police Fees are rounded to the nearest 25 cents with the exception of the per page copy fee which is the same as charged city-wide.

A copy of the 2008/2009 Cost Allocation Plan is available for public review in the City Clerk’s office, Public Works Engineering Division lobby, Community Development lobby, Parks and Recreation lobby and at the Brentwood Library.

FISCAL IMPACT
The updates to the fees contained within the Cost Allocation Plan are established to cover costs associated with a particular use and/or service. The fiscal impact is unknown at this time, however, fiscal impact will be reflected in the financial reports given to Council every quarter.

Attachments:
Resolution
2008/09 Cost Allocation Plan

RESOLUTION NO.


A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BRENTWOOD ADOPTING THE 2008/09 COST ALLOCATION PLAN.

WHEREAS, Government Code Sections 65104, 65909.5, 66014 and 66451.2 allow the City to establish fees to offset the City’s administrative costs in processing permits, licenses, subdivision maps and entitlements; and

WHEREAS, Brentwood Municipal Code § 17.800 requires payment of such processing fees in conjunction with any application submitted for permits, licenses, subdivision maps and entitlements; and

WHEREAS, November 14, 2000, by Resolution No. 2198 the City Council adopted the DMG-Maximus Report for computing fees for City services and revising the City services fees; and

WHEREAS, the City has compiled certain Cost Allocation Plans, the most recent of which was adopted August 28, 2007, to compare direct and indirect administrative costs in providing various services to the community; and

WHEREAS, the City Council has periodically revised development impact fees for public facilities, including the most recent revisions contained in Resolution 2005-222 adopted on September 13, 2005; and

WHEREAS, on May 27, 2008, the City Council adopted the 2008/09 – 2012/13 Capital Improvement Program which is an integral part of the overall system of public facility development; and

WHEREAS, the City Finance Department researched and developed the Cost Allocation Plan and City Fees, Fiscal Year 2008/09 report, which develops a model for computing fees to cover the City’s direct and indirect (overhead) administrative costs incurred in response to requests for permits, maps, licenses and entitlements, and which proposes a revised schedule of such fees; and

WHEREAS, the Report and supporting data were available for public inspection and review for ten (10) days prior to this public hearing; and

WHEREAS, a public hearing has been noticed and held in accordance with Government Code Section 66018; and

WHEREAS, the City Council has considered the information provided to it by those testifying, and has reviewed and considered the information provided in the staff report and staff presentation and has read and considered the Report and supporting data.



NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the City Council of the City of Brentwood:

Section 1. Findings:

The Council makes each of the following findings:

A. That CEQA does not apply to the adoption of this Resolution, pursuant to Sections 15061 and 15273 of the State CEQA Guidelines because:

1. The fees established by this Resolution will be collected for the purposes of meeting operational expenses and maintaining service to those that request it; and

2. Because the fees authorized by this Resolution will be collected at the application stage of the project, CEQA review will take place during the processing of the project. Therefore, it can be seen with certainty that the adoption of this Resolution establishing processing fees will not have a significant effect on the environment.

B. The purpose of the processing fees is to support those City services which are undertaken as a direct or indirect result of members of the public using the services of the City, in particular the services of permits, licenses, subdivision maps and entitlements.

C. After considering the Report and supporting data and the testimony received at this public hearing, the Council approves and adopts the 2008/09 Cost Allocation Plan and the Report, and incorporates them herein, and further finds that future development in the City of Brentwood will generate a continued need for the services specified in the Report.

D. The Report and the testimony establish:

1. That there is a reasonable relationship between the need for the fee and the type of service for which the fee is imposed; and

2. That there is a reasonable relationship between the amount of the fee and the estimated reasonable cost of providing the type of service for which the fee is imposed; and

3. The amount of service provided does not exceed what is reasonably necessary in order to process the requested service; and

4. That the cost estimates set forth in the 2008/09 Cost Allocation Plan and the Report are reasonable and best approximate the direct and indirect (overhead) costs of City staff and consultants for providing the necessary service to respond to the public’s requests

E. The method of allocating the City’s administrative costs of processing service bears a fair and reasonable relationship to each member of the public’s burden on, and benefit from, the services requested by that member.

F. The fees do not exceed the estimated reasonable cost of providing the service for which the fee is charged.

Section 2. Fees Imposed:

A. Each person requesting a service in the City of Brentwood for which a fee is imposed pursuant to the Report shall pay the processing fee set forth in the Report.

B. On July 1 of each year, all fees not tied to an alternate index and/or requirement shall be automatically adjusted by an amount equal to the percentage of increase or decrease in the consumer price index for this region, as last computed before the July 1 date.

C. The fees may also be adjusted if the City updates or modifies the Cost Allocation Plan or the Report and conducts a public hearing to implement a new or revised fee or fees based upon such update or modification.

D. The applicable fee shall be determined on the basis of the fee schedule in effect at the time the application is submitted to the City for the requested service. The fee shall be payable in full at the time the application is submitted.

E. The adoption of this Resolution does not affect the ability of the City to request an agreement between the applicant and the City to pay extraordinary processing costs and to establish deposit accounts.

F. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein, the fee for copying public records requested by a member of the public, shall not exceed the direct costs of duplication.

G. Staff will begin rounding those Park and Recreation fees which are updated by CPI to the nearest dime which will occur in July, 2009. The fees within the Parks and Recreation fee sheets that are not subject to CPI increases are: Deposits and Insurance, Jr. Life Guard (set by Council Resolution in December 2007), and the Brentwood Senior Club Socials and Card Memberships, which are pass through accounts.

H. The CPI fee adjustment for Aquatic fees will go into effect on January 1, 2009 for the 2009 swim season as noted within the current fee schedule. The modification to the CPI effective date for Aquatic fees will occur annually.

Section 3. Fee Adjustment or Waiver or Reimbursement:

A person subject to the fee imposed pursuant to this Resolution may apply to the City Council for adjustment to that fee, or a waiver of that fee, or reimbursement of part or all of the fee, solely by following the written protest procedure in the time and manner provided by Government Code Section 66020 and detailing the reasons for the adjustment, waiver or reimbursement.

A. A person subject to the fees imposed pursuant to this Resolution that desires an adjustment or waiver of such fees shall follow the protest procedure contained in Government Code Section 66020 (as may be amended), and within the time frame set forth in subsection (d) thereof (as may be amended) or risk the loss of the legal ability to request such adjustment or waiver. In no event shall the City waive its right to rely on other applicable limitations periods, including without limitation those set forth in Government Code Section 66022 (as may be amended).

B. A person may apply to the City Council for an adjustment to the fees by filing an application with the City Clerk. The application shall be made in writing and must identify the reasons why the City’s processing fees should be adjusted. At a minimum, the reasons should explain why a reasonable relationship is lacking between the service provided by the City, the costs incurred by the City for such service and the fees imposed by the City for such service.

C. The application shall be filed with the City Clerk no later than the deadline for filing protests as mentioned in subpart A. above. The City Clerk will present the application to the City’s Finance Director or designee.

D. The City’s Finance Director, or designee, shall make a written determination on the application. The City’s Finance Director, or designee, may authorize an adjustment so long as the adjustment does not exceed Ten Percent of the total amount of fees sought to be imposed by the City. Recommendations by the City’s Finance Director, or designee, for adjustments in excess of Ten Percent will be forwarded to the City Council for final determination. The method and timing of implementing the adjustment is subject to the discretion of the City’s Finance Director (or designee) or City Council where applicable.

E. Any adjustment granted is limited to the project as proposed. If there is any change in the project, the fee adjustment is suspended so that the City’s Finance Director, or City Council where applicable, may re-evaluate where the adjustment is still appropriate.

F. Decisions of the City’s Finance Director, or designee, are subject to appeal to the City Council so long as such appeal is made in writing and within ten (10) days of the decision.

Section 4. Use of Fee Revenues:

The revenues raised by payment of these fees, along with any interest earned, shall be used to pay for the City’s administrative costs spelled out in the Report, including without limitation the capital costs and labor and contract costs directly or indirectly associated with providing the requested service.

Section 5. Subsequent Analysis of the Fees:

The fees established herein are adopted and implemented by the Council in reliance on the comprehensive studies that have been prepared by the City and consultants to the City. During the coming years, the City will continue to gather additional information that may affect the nature, scope and type of services to be provided in response to requests of the public. Notwithstanding any term or condition of any permit, subdivision map, license or entitlement granted by the City, it is existing policy that the City Council may revise the fees to incorporate the findings and conclusions of further studies, as well as increases due to inflation, and that such revisions shall apply to any prior approved projects, as well as new projects.

Section 6. Effective Date of Revised Fees:

Fees governed by Government Code 66000-66025 shall be effective sixty (60) days after the adoption of this Resolution provided, however, that, upon enactment of this Resolution, any person may pay the revised fees instead of the current fees. All other fees set forth in the 2008/2009 Cost Allocation Plan were increased by the CPI, appropriate index as identified or appropriate percentage on July 1, 2008 per Resolution 2007-197. Newly established fees in the 2008/2009 Cost Allocation Plan shall be effective immediately.

Section 7. Severability:

Each component of the fees and all portions of this Resolution are severable. Should any individual component of the fee or other provision of this Resolution be adjudged to be invalid and unenforceable, the remaining provisions shall be and continue to be fully effective, and the fee shall be fully effective except as to that portion that has been judged to be invalid.

Section 8. Repeal of Inconsistent Resolutions:

Resolution No. 2007-197 is hereby repealed.

Section 9. Statute of Limitations:

Any judicial action or proceeding to attack, review, set aside, void, or annul the fees established by this Resolution, or the Resolution itself, shall be commenced within one hundred twenty (120) days of the passage of this Resolution. Any action to attack an adjustment adopted pursuant to Sections 2, 3 or 5 shall be commenced within one hundred twenty (120) days of the adjustment.

PASSED, APPROVED AND ADOPTED by the City Council of the City of Brentwood at a regular meeting held August 26, 2008 by the following vote:


 

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