Zoning permit fee increases

Published 5:01 pm Friday, July 5, 2024

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JACKSON – A proposal to increase fees for Northampton County’s Planning and Zoning (Code Enforcement) Department has finally been approved after a second vote from the commissioners during their meeting on June 27.

As previously reported by the News Herald, the request was considered at their meeting on May 20, but that vote was split 2-2, and Board Chair Charles Tyner was not in attendance to break the tie.

In June, Interim Code Enforcement Director Derrick Bennett asked the commissioners to reconsider the proposal, which is to increase the zoning permit fee from $20 to $50.

“The department has been tasked with a strenuous amount of work in terms of planning and zoning, and our fee structure is relatively low compared to other municipalities,” Bennett explained.

Bennett previously told the board that the fees have stayed the same for at least the past few years. He also provided comparisons with surrounding counties in the area. Halifax and Gates counties both charge $25 for a zoning permit fee, while Hertford County charges $50. Warren County was the highest in the area at $100.

Tyner stated he was in favor of the fee increase.

“Any developer who can’t pay $50 for a permit… I don’t know what kind of developer they are,” he said.

Commissioner Ed Martin motioned to approve the proposed fee increase, and Kelvin Edwards seconded. The motion narrowly passed with a 3-2 vote. Commissioners Geneva Faulkner and Melvetta Broadnax Taylor voted against the increase, as they did during the first vote as well.

Other fee changes include lowering the rezoning/ordinance amendment fee from $400 to $275, and increasing the appeal of administrative determinations from $50 to $275. For subdivision applications, the initial fee will remain at $100 but the cost per each additional lot will increase from $5 to $10.

There will be no changes to the special use permit fee and the zoning variance fee, both remaining at $275.