Imperial County Implements Home Improvement Fee Reduction

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EL CENTRO – The County of Imperial Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a 50% reduction in certain residential home improvement fees related to building permits at today’s board meeting. In addition, the Board of Supervisors approved an amnesty period for residential improvements performed without permits eliminating certain penalties.

Supervisor Ryan Kelley commented that he had worked with County staff to identify key permits that would help reduce the cost of permits for home improvements and encourage residents to obtain a building permit, for these items. Supervisor Ryan Kelley’s “goal is to improve the safety of our citizens by encouraging the acquisition of proper building permits.” This reduction is intended to encourage property owners of existing residential structures to undertake safe residential maintenance, repair, and rehabilitation projects that will help improve their living conditions and extend the life of their homes.

The affected permits cover the repair or replacement of minor electrical, heating and air conditioning systems (HVAC), water heaters, minor plumbing, patio/carports, exterior windows, doors, re-roofs, kitchen remodels, and typical home remodels provided that there is no additions. For example, a Water Heater replacement permit costs $360, but will now cost $180. The fee reduction will not change the County’s current level of services. The reduction of residential permit fees will be in effect starting today through June, 30, 2016, at which time the board will evaluate the effectiveness of the program.

In addition to the fee reduction, the Board approved an amnesty period for residential improvements made without permits. The amnesty waives the fines and penalties typically applied to unpermitted work. It is encouraged that property owners take advantage of this program to bring their homes into compliance. The amnesty project will be in effect for 15 months, with a sunset on December 31, 2015.