December 3, 2018
City Government

Hartford hikes building-permit fees

HBJ File Photo
HBJ File Photo
Hartford City Hall at 550 Main St.
Gregory Seay

It now costs more to build or renovate space in Hartford.

In August, the city's licenses and inspections division posted in its Main Street office and online its registry of new and higher filing, site-review and land-use fees for more than six dozen permitted uses that the City Council adopted in early July.

So far, none of Hartford's more active suburban neighbors has aired plans to follow suit and raise their building and permitting fees.

According to Kiley Gosselin, now the city's former acting director of development services, some of the city's building fees had not been updated in more than a decade. Others had been on the books unchanged perhaps longer, Gosselin said.

"We were talking about doing this for quite a while,'' Gosselin said.

The city surveyed neighboring communities' building fees and found many of its fees to be slightly lower than theirs, she said.

For instance, the city's building-permit fee doubled from $25 to $50 for the first $1,000 of construction costs, and $30 for each $1,000 of value thereafter. It now costs $125 for a certificate of occupancy.

Building officials in West Hartford and Windsor, two suburban communities where new commercial and residential construction and renovation have been brisk in recent years, say they have no immediate plans to raise building fees.

Kiely said the city sent out public notices in July to the builder-developer community statewide, alerting them to the new fees.

The city "saw a flash of filings'' right before the new fees took effect, but the building community's response to them was muted, she said.

Finally, Gosselin said the City Council undertook several changes to its city-ordinance structure, to allow future fee-pricing reviews/updates to occur more easily and often.

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