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Mayor Proposes Waiving Home Improvement Fees

Mission Viejo Mayor Frank Ury wants city building fees waived until summer 2012 for homeowners. The plan would also let residents catch up on delinquent home inspections without the usual costs.

For the next six months, Mission Viejo Mayor Frank Ury wants to waive the city's home improvement fees for homeowners. Doing so would cost the city $85,000, according to his estimate.

If approved, the program would also waive city inspection fees through July 4, 2012.

Ury calls his proposal the "Improve, Don't Move" plan. He says it's based on similar programs in Anaheim, Corona, Orange and Tustin.

The proposal calls for taking the $85,000 cost to the city out of general fund reserves. Last year the city put a $1.8 million surplus back into general fund reserves.

In Anaheim and Corona, their building fee suspension programs lasted three months or less. Corona excluded swimming pools on the grounds that they are luxury items.

Tustin approved a program last year that will continue until $400,000 is spent in licensing fees.

Walt Halagarda January 02, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Exactly what is the purpose of this program? Are we trying to encourage homeowners to make improvements. I'm not sure that would be an incentive for me. Some people try to beat the system by pleading ignorance to having to pull a permit and this program probably would not change that.
Peter Schelden January 02, 2012 at 07:31 PM
Interesting point, Walt. Once a cheater, always a cheater? Anyone think they would build on their homes because of a program like this, or is the economy still too weak for home improvements?
Kerry January 02, 2012 at 07:49 PM
Are fees tied to job costs? If not then a small job would realize more value out of this program. Psychologically this might help, especially if a salesman is involved. This could be used as a buy now factor for someone sitting on the fence, especially if the fence is falling down.
Frank Ury January 09, 2012 at 07:53 AM
Walt, and team, The goal is to remove government barriers to homeowners to make it easier to allow them to invest in their most valuable asset, their home. Last years Mission Viejo put over $1,8m of our tax dollars into a savings account that was 350% the normal savings for a city. We are now proposing to put 20% of that $1,8M back in to the pockets of those homeowners. Sure hope you can use it.... Cheers, Frank Ury Mayor, Mission Viejo

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