The Town of Dryden requires fees for administering the NYS Building Code, as well as the town’s local laws and ordinances. These laws are enforced by two Code Enforcement Officers as well as the Director of Planning within the town’s Planning Department. The Planning Department also assists the town’s boards and applicants through the permit review process when Site Plan Review, Subdivision, and Special Use Permits are required. This process also requires the town to keep and maintain records in accordance with NYS laws.
All of this comes at a cost. The Planner, Code Enforcement Officers and support staff are paid out of the budget with revenues coming from the town’s share of sales taxes. To offset these costs, the town charges fees for a variety of activities from a simple shed, to a strip mall to a subdivision. The fees never recover the full cost to the town, but help to reduce the direct impact on taxes. As property is developed and improved, the overall assessed value of the town increases, and hopefully keeps up with the rising costs of administration (salary, benefits etc.).
In order to achieve a better balance between fees and taxes, the Town Board requested the Planning Department to develop a new Fee Schedule. The current fee schedule is a little confusing, and didn’t match as well with the recently adopted Zoning and Subdivision Laws. Also, there was some disparity between smaller projects like a shed, and larger projects like a garage. Further, the current fee schedule does not adequately charge an appropriate fee based upon the size and scope of a project. Finally, although the town does not charge a fee for stormwater permits, it is time for that cost to be accounted for in the fee schedule, hence the greater emphasis on the area that a project takes up.
Larger projects simply require more work: more inspections, longer reviews by boards, and more follow up.