NEW MARKET – Planning Commission members rejected a proposed increase for conditional use permit application fees Monday night, suggesting the town raise the fee but to a lesser degree.
Town Manager Todd Walters said the proposed increase for conditional use permit applications was intended to help the town cover its costs for advertising and notifying neighbors about the potential change. Walters said the current fee of $350 is not enough in most cases for the town to conduct business without losing money.
Planning Commission members voted against the proposed increase to $750 but offered to meet in the middle at an increase to $500 for an application.
George Daugharty, Planning Commission chairman, said the members felt an increase to $750 would be prohibitive for some smaller businesses.
“For some businesses, it wouldn’t mean they wouldn’t be able to open the business,” Daugharty said. “But it would be taking money out of their operations we thought would be a little too much for them.”
Moving the application too high, Daugharty said, could also give an impression that New Market isn’t friendly for business.
“We weren’t really concerned as much about deterring businesses because we think that businesses are making the decision to come here, open up or buy a building, they’re gonna be willing to pay that $500 or $750,” he said. “Our concern was the impression it gave.”
Council members will consider the Planning Commission’s recommendation at their next meeting.