Indian Wells Debating On Increasing The Cost Of Real Estate Improvement Permits



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The costs of home improvement will be rising in Indian Wells, CA, where user fees are being adjusted to cover costs to process permits at City Hall.

In addition to this, the conditional use permit will be experiencing a decrease in cost, dropping from $8,387 to $6,556. These fee changes will go into effect in about 60 days.

“The city processes about 760 building permits per year,” McCarthy said.

So far, the most commonly seen permits are for single-family home remodels, as the city doesn’t see a large amount of development. The estimated fees for a 2,200-square-foot-home is anywhere between $464 and $1,755.15.

This could mean a change in the return on investment (ROI) of many home projects that homeowners were looking forward to doing this year. There does not appear to be anything regarding landscaping, however, which has the largest ROI per expenditure, at 5% of home value for an ROI of 150%.

While there has been no real opposition to the establishment of these fees, Gretchen Gutierrez, CEO of the Desert Valley Builders Association, asked that the council continue to discuss the issue at the meeting in September.

“The association has not had time to fully read the Willdan study, which also compared Indian Wells fees with surrounding Coachella Valley cities,” she said.

The study mentioned is the Temecula-based Willdan Financial Services study, which had been the source for the idea of the fees in the first place.

Gutierrez also stated that the association had made more than one request to get access to the full document, and when they had gotten that access, a key consultant had been on vacation. This meant that that consultant had not been able to access or read it.

The new fee idea and its schedule were approved 4-1, with Mayor Richard Balocco opposing without explaining why.

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