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Kent Fortner inside Vallejo May 17, 2019, 9:54 AM

Bravo to the City for reviewing fees and for providing a helpful survey so we can see how we fare vis a vis other municipalities. It seems we are in line in many areas (good news), but I'd echo commenter Johnny Walker's comments that some of the fees seem to be outliers (on the high side) and urge the City to review those one more time.

I'd also like to echo another commenter's thoughts that one of the biggest issues here is that the fees, regardless of justification, in many instances are nonetheless too high such that people will just opt to not permit or decide to just live non-compliant on key safety items (water heater, etc). I think we need to weigh the public good of providing an easy/inexpensive permit to incentivize compliance vs. what is happening now that people are just blacking out their windows and doing the work because they can't afford the permits. Perhaps we want to subsidize some of these permits in order to drive more compliance? We should weight the cost of subsidizing 100 water heater permits vs the cost of sending the fire department to the houses that burn down after an earthquake. Worth some analysis, perhaps.

Furthermore, the additional factor driving non-compliance is the onerousness of visiting City permitting center and a history of inconsistencies/unknowns with building inspections (leading to project delays, etc), both of which I think have SIGNIFICANTLY improved in recent years--the City should continue that good work.

Finally, I would urge the City to work on how the fees are presented so that they are as straightforward as can be on the fee schedule and receipts. In the past I know some of the permit fees have included "expedited review" when there was clearly no expediting going on (it took the standard time, which was long). For one, there's no reason to have that on there (it just makes it more confusing and has makes the City look bad). Or, an alternative thought is to actually create an optional "expedited review" that truly provides a more immediate (5 day?) deadline vs the standard (10 day deadline it is, I think?), or perhaps pays for an expediter to walk these through, and make that fee substantial, and it could be a revenue generator for the City for those developers who truly value time as money and are willing to pay? Just a thought.

Nice work overall; appreciate the effort.

Johnny Walker inside Vallejo May 16, 2019, 9:00 AM

I applaud the effort but am late to the "party" as it were. It would appear that our proposed fees for Street Closures and Mixed Use Development 70,527 sf - 39,606 sf non-res are way out of line with comparable jurisdictions and efforts should be undertaken to bring these more into line. That, and Mixed Use Development: 150 unit assisted living facility are substantially higher than all other comparable jurisdictions in the analysis. I don't know what a Title 24 Plan Check is, but that specifically, as well as the Fire Plan Check fees are astronomical and would serve to disincentivize these kinds of uses from wanting to pursue projects here. It would also appear that our Fire Plan Check fees are significantly higher in all categories than all comparable jurisdictions outside the City of San Leandro, which is significantly higher than all other comparable jurisdictions in many of the side-by-side comparisons anyway. Thanks again for the effort and the opportunity to comment.

Name not shown inside Vallejo May 9, 2019, 3:16 PM

First some general comments. Overall I think the fee proposals seem appropriate and I am glad to see some adjustments downward for some permits and applications that seemed overly high. I am also glad that many permits, etc., are subsidized so that they aren't a higher burden on applicants. I have always thought that our community needs to do more subsidization than others because of our community demographics, what I would call a "Vallejo Adjustment" . . . such that we don't overly compare ourselves with communities that have greater affluence. I think it is clear many do not get permits because of the fees. If they are affordable there may be more applications which would counter potential revenue losses. More specifically, glad to see a reduction in water heater permits, tree permits (it killed me that I paid $500 on top of removal fees to remove a public hazard), and various other permits. I would suggest that the fee for new home construction be further considered. This is not a challenging analysis and should not require much staff time. I also think the fee for street closures should be reconsidered. It has gone up to about $500. If I understand correctly these are generally to allow block parties. How demoralizing to have to pay that much for a block party. We should be encouraging neighbors to get together, know each other, and have some fun. I also think the fees for the various fire inspections and reviews are very high and almost punitive for those who have to, or want to, be in compliance. When you add up all the fees, take them as a whole, building/planning/fire/utilities, etc., this can be very daunting for many applicants and may inhibit economic development and a good feeling about doing business with our community . . . and no one dept. deserves greater compensation or less subsidization than others. As to fire, there seems to be something amiss there as far as the fee schedule relative to other fees by other dept's. Overall, glad to see City Hall reviewing and re-evaluating fees.

Name not shown inside Vallejo May 9, 2019, 2:25 AM

Some of this massive amount of money could be spent buying RVs and setting up places for them to be parked overnight. They are less expensive than houses, or apartments and are used as places to live in all over the country. There could be a cap on how many people can live in them if families are chosen first. Those with larger sized families would get apartments or trailers bought for them. Rent could be subsidized if needed.
The other alternative I would like the City to consider is tiny homes for two people max depending on size of house. It could be a program like Habitat for Humanity where they qualify then have to help build it. Depending on the design they don't have to be expensive. Some of the city land can be used to set these on. I read that the City had a lot of land that's not being used. If that's wrong then why not look into buying lots for this? A lot of tiny homes could fit on one plot. If there are ordinances against this, change them. They were created during different times. (The granny flat ordinance could be changed as well. People need places to live!)
To alleviate this crush of people without shelters the City must think outside the box. Plenty of other cities in the US have successfully housed poeople. Why can't Vallejo? This is an enormous amount of money to be used wisely. Giving vouchers to be handed to landlords who refuse to lower their rents is just money out the door every month. Save that for larger families. Let's get places set up around town where a great number of people can live.

Theo Bevius inside Vallejo May 2, 2019, 10:38 AM

Permitting fees can only be fairly evaluated alongside an evaluation of services rendered, and process efficiency. City of Vallejo departments are regularly and commonly criticized for inefficient processes, dilatory and discontinuous turn-around, and an absence of informative or useful cooperation with applicants. If these are not addressed then fee increases cannot be justified. In fact, a short-term fee moratorium my be justified in order win back participation of many out of town (and a few local) contractors currently avoiding the permitting process.

Eric Rehn outside Vallejo May 1, 2019, 3:30 PM

The only real reductions I noted had to do with solar installations. Looks like most fees are higher for the majority. Curious as to why the City employees are not held to the same performance standards as within the private sector? Staff needs to move at the pace of the private sector vs. a typical government employee nearing retirement. Higher fees and slow approval process is not something developers seek. Eric Rehn, CCIM

Name not shown inside Vallejo October 19, 2018, 3:01 PM

Allow retail sales but not near these places:
Parks, Other - Similar to other cities, prohibit cannabis retailers and sales 1000’ from schools, libraries, health care/substance abuse/treatment facilities, and other minors and vulnerable population-sensitive locations.


I think retail establishments should have certain site standards as follows:
Landscaping


I have additional comments related to retail sales of cannabis not addressed in this survey:
Consider prohibiting:
- Advertisements within 1000’ of any child‐centered facility (school, playground/recreation center, public park, library, etc.); or on a public transit vehicle/shelter; publicly owned property; substance abuse facility/treatment facility; colleges; etc.
- Use of giveaway coupons as promotional materials, price promotions or promotional activities to encourage sales.
- Advertisement directly handed to a person in a public place, left upon a vehicle, or posted upon any public or private property.
- Advertisement that depicts a person under 21 years of age consuming cannabis; or that includes an object or character designed to appeal to a person under 21 years of age promoting consumption of cannabis.

Name not shown inside Vallejo October 19, 2018, 9:25 AM

Where should retail sales of cannabis be allowed?
Pin at 38.096431, -122.233921, Pin at 38.127225, -122.2504, Pin at 38.149368, -122.24834


Allow retail sales but not near these places:
Downtown, Parks, Plaza Drive Shopping Area (Target, Costco), Residential Neighborhoods


Currently their are 11 cannabis retailers in Vallejo. In the future, what total number of retailers do you think Vallejo should allow?
3


I think retail establishments should have certain site standards as follows:
Proper Signage

Name not shown inside Vallejo October 18, 2018, 10:16 AM

Where should retail sales of cannabis be allowed?
Pin at 38.107778, -122.282158, Pin at 38.102374, -122.258812, Pin at 38.088054, -122.243706


Allow retail sales but not near these places:
Parks, Residential Neighborhoods, Other - schools


Currently their are 11 cannabis retailers in Vallejo. In the future, what total number of retailers do you think Vallejo should allow?
5


I think retail establishments should have certain site standards as follows:
Proper Signage


I have additional comments related to retail sales of cannabis not addressed in this survey:
taxes from retail cannabis should fund youth enrichment programs

Name not shown inside Vallejo October 8, 2018, 1:00 PM

Where should retail sales of cannabis be allowed?
Pin at 38.101024, -122.256022, Pin at 38.114058, -122.254391, Pin at 38.096498, -122.271472


Allow retail sales but not near these places:
Parks, Other - Schools


Currently their are 11 cannabis retailers in Vallejo. In the future, what total number of retailers do you think Vallejo should allow?
12


I think retail establishments should have certain site standards as follows:
Attractive Facade


I have additional comments related to retail sales of cannabis not addressed in this survey:
The city needs to reevaluate the tax structure. The Cannabis industry can be very lucrative for all players involved, but if the businesses are over-taxed it will ruin it for everyone. We also should have sanctioned smoking clubs/coffee shops.