Starke County Plan Commission Updates Fee Schedule

 An updated permit fee schedule for unincorporated areas of Starke County was approved Wednesday by the County Plan Commission. No comments on the proposed changes were offered from the public. However, Plan Commission Director Terry Stephenson had an issue with the permit fee for accessory buildings, which covers everything from pre-built sheds to garages to pole barns. “Right now, we’re charging them $75 for a 10-by-12 [foot building] and $75 for an 80-by-300,” he said. “Even a minimum of $50 seems like a lot for going out one time on these little sheds.”

Plan commissioners settled on changing the fee to $25 for structures under 200 square feet and 15-cents per square foot for larger buildings, with a maximum fee of $250.

At the same time, the proposed fee of $250 per structure for a concentrated animal feeding operation seemed too low for some plan commissioners, considering the size of many of the operations. Instead, the plan commission decided to place CAFOs into the category of commercial and industrial buildings, which has a permit fee of 20-cents per square foot, up to a maximum of $5,000.

Additionally, the demolition permit category was updated to clarify that permits are only needed for the demolition of dwellings and accessory buildings, not other structures like decks or roofs.

The updated fees were approved, unanimously.