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Grand Rapids Permit Fees


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So they've approved this backyard chicken thing http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2015/03/backyard_chickens_in_grand_rap_1.html, and the permit fee is going to be $50.  Then there's this little gem:


"If the backyard chicken program is renewed and extended by the City Commission at that time, it is anticipated that the permit fees would be revisited to ensure that they reflect full cost recovery for the true costs of operating the program."


In other words, "jacked way up."  Even $50 is enough money to buy more eggs in a year than you would probably be able to eat...


"Full cost recovery" seems like a rather sketchy concept.  Don't we pay taxes for these people to sit at City Hall and do their jobs, buy paper, print forms, and so forth?  Why are permits expected to recoup all of the employee and staffing costs involved in having staff administer the city's own rules?  I've noticed before that when it comes to zoning variances and other things that requirement payment of a fee or charge, our fees are among the highest in the entire country.  Are they actually counting staff hours, multiplying by total (bloated) employment costs, and charging it into all of the permit fees?  When the city has a monopoly, how do they have any idea what their costs ought to be in the first place?

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I don't understand the need for a permit at all. Just make sane regulations, and let neighbors complain about violations the same way as any other property dispute. Permits and fees make sense when there are actual inspections that need to be made (such as construction), but it's not like the city is going to be sending inspectors to examine chicken coops.


I wish they'd have such stringent requirements for dogs. Given how loud some dogs bark, neighbors in a two-block radius should be able to have a say...

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