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Board votes to increase application fees

Members of the Lunenburg County Board of Supervisors voted to approve changes to application fees submitted to the county during the board’s July meeting.

County Attorney Frank Rennie encouraged the county to raise its fee for conditional use permits, arguing that the current rates lose the county money and does not compensate the work that the county does in processing the applications.

“We’re losing money,” Rennie said.

Rennie and the county staff recommended that the application fee be raised from $250 to $400, and then on larger conditional use permit application, the county would ask the applicant to pay for fees relating to engineers, consulting, architectural companies and attorneys — which are all fees the county has been paying.

“Most other counties require the applicant to pay those additional charges,” Rennie said.

The suggestion occurred during a discussion about a conditional use permit application for a cellular tower in the Love’s Mill area of Lunenburg County, in which there had been disputes about fees from the county. The dispute resulted in a postponement of two public hearings related to the project until the charges were paid.

The hearings were initially scheduled for July 16 during the regular Lunenburg Planning Commission meeting.

Rennie said that the application included a reduced base fee of $2,500, which was initially $5,000, and a fee of $8,500 to a consulting company in North Carolina, which the county hires.