Dewey Beach commissioners voted 4-1 July 24 to reduce the conditional use application fee on amendments that change or eliminate conditions that were imposed during the conditional use approval process.
The fee to request conditional use approval is $750; the ordinance reduces the fee to $400 for applications to amend existing conditional use permits.
Commissioner Gary Persinger said the fee decrease would apply only to special requirements or conditions that are simple enough to be changed without input from the town planning and zoning commission.
Commissioner David Moskowitz said he spoke with Town Manager Scott Koenig, who told him that the $750 fee can be difficult for some businesses to pay. Koenig said two businesses have requested the fee be lowered.
“One is no longer in business, and the other is still in business, and I expect will probably take advantage of this opportunity,” Koenig said.
Commissioner Paul Bauer said it’s been a tough year for businesses, and said he was in favor of lowering the fee, as long as it accurately reflects the amount of time and work spent in reviewing the request.
Town Solicitor Fred Townsend said the county charges a $500 across-the-board fee for conditional use applications.
Mayor Dale Cooke voted against the ordinance, stating the $400 fee is too low.
“I’m casting my vote for the town, not against business,” he said. “The town also has to operate, and we’re spending money like wildfire, and were talking about cutting funds but wanting to spend more money.”