City council approves interim fees for HB 852


Special to the PRESS


On Wednesday evening, the South Padre Island City Council unanimously approved an interim fee schedule for new residential dwelling construction to be in compliance with newly enacted House Bill 852.

Effective May 21, 2019, the Texas Legislature enacted House Bill 852, which prohibits municipalities from considering the value of a dwelling or the cost of constructing or improving a dwelling in determining its permit fees.

According to SPI Building Inspector David Travis, the previous fees for the City of South Padre Island for construction permits were a minimum of $25, or $7 per $1,000 of the building value for a new dwelling or remodel. The new interim fee schedule would be .75 cents per square foot for new dwellings or additions to new dwellings, and a $50 flat fee for all other improvements and repairs.

Appearing frustrated by the lack of specifics in the newly enacted bill, Councilperson Alita Bagley queried Travis, saying, “So they just tell us what we can’t do but they don’t tell us how to do it?” to which Tavis confirmed and added, “Or give us a grace period.”

Travis said the city will continue to analyze permit fees from other cities in order to develop a permanent fee schedule, but put forth this proposal in order to
comply with the bill, which went into effect immediately upon approval by the Texas Legislature on May 21.

In other business, Police Captain Claudine O’Carroll addressed the Council regarding sound and noise complaints emanating from rented golf carts. “Chief Smith, myself, and some members of the Police Department facilitated a meeting and we came up with a sheet of golf cart regulations.”

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