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Getting rid of red tape
Faced with daunting bureaucratic red tape, some developers may have steered clear of Reynoldsburg, but city officials plan to fix the problem.
Development Director Lucas Haire partnered with City Engineer Jim Miller to create the Reynoldsburg Development Handbook in an effort to "clarify and streamline the development process."
"In doing an investigation (of the development permit process) we came across changes to make it easier for both developers and the city," Haire said.
For example, one problem with the current system is that if an existing business plans to build a small addition such as a patio or add an extra parking space, that business must submit a detailed site plan of its entire location.
"The same amount of plans as if they were building a new Target store," Haire said.
Under the revised system, businesses may submit minor site plans that would cost $75 to review. Furthermore, if the improvements cost less than $12,000, the board of zoning would not need to hear the case, Haire said.
The handbook also would require new developments to complete a worksheet that would enable city staff "to figure out the demand on city services" from the proposed use, Haire said.
Another "big issue" that the handbook would clarify is how much a developer must pay for building permits.
Among other fees, the city currently charges $550 to review site plans. This amount fails to cover the actual expense and Reynoldsburg must try to collect the difference after a project is completed.
Under the new system, the price to review the plans would be updated "to show the actual costs up front rather than (charging more) in the end," Haire said. "These are not new costs."
The city council will complete the first reading of the proposed handbook on June 8.
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