By Mario Conde
The Imperial County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution to temporarily reduce planning fees until 2014.
The action taken was to adopt a resolution to reduce general planning fees for “Lot Line Adjustments”, “Lot Mergers and; “minor Conditional Use Permits” by 60% until January 1, 2014.
“Due to the serious economical downturn in Imperial County and the State of California, the growth in the housing and commercial development markets has decreased substantially causing adverse impacts to the local economy” County Planning Director Armando Villa said.
Villa said that over the last 18 months the County Planning Department has received a number of concerns regarding processing fees for “Lot line adjustments” Conditional Use” Permits and “Lot Mergers.”
He said that these applications are not considered burdensome due to the fact that these are processed and approved administratively at Planning Director’s level. Villa requested to have a temporary reduction to encourage development and be in compliance with Imperial County land use.
Over the last 24 months, County Planning Department has received a total of 25 applications and collected approximately $83, 350 in processing fees. Assuming, these applications remain constant and this department receives a similar number of applications over the next 18 months, it is anticipated that the fiscal impact could be approximately $25,000, Villa said.
In other news, the Board approved the expansion of the Imperial County Enterprise Zone to expand the boundaries of 43.14 acres as requested by Synthetic Genomics, Inc. SGI is a company dedicated to developing and commercializing genomic-driven solution to address global energy and environmental challenges. SGI has purchased approximately 80 acres known as the Calipatria Campus. The company will hire approximately 10 employees in the third quarter of this year to support their internal activities.