"for profit" building department?

hey all-

i thought there was a court case a while back (in LA?) about the permit fees being too high. the case had to do with whether a building dept could actually make a profit, or not.

anyone remember this?

i think the courts decided bldg depts could not make money, but not sure

thanks!

Original Post

this has always been the case under statutes in all states (of which I am aware)...  building departments are self-funding (i.e. can adjust fees from time to time as necessary to defray costs of services, but cannot over-charge so as to result in a surplus that then reverts to a general fund or other purpose)...  in reality I am not aware of any agency that charges enough to result in a  fully self-funded operation...  I'm sure the BO's on this board will be happy to chime in on that front

HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE SECTION 17950-17959.6

17950.  The provisions of this part, the building standards
published in the State Building Standards Code, or the other rules
and regulations promulgated pursuant to the provisions of this part
which relate to apartment houses, hotels, motels, and dwellings, and
buildings and structures accessory thereto, apply in all parts of the
state.

17951.  (a) The governing body of any county or city, including a
charter city, may prescribe fees for permits, certificates, or other
forms or documents required or authorized by this part or rules and
regulations adopted pursuant to this part.
   (b) The governing body of any county or city, including a charter
city, or fire protection district, may prescribe fees to defray the
costs of enforcement required by this part to be carried out by local
enforcement agencies.
   (c) The amount of the fees prescribed pursuant to subdivisions (a)
and (b) shall not exceed the amount reasonably required to
administer or process these permits, certificates, or other forms or
documents, or to defray the costs of enforcement required by this
part to be carried out by local enforcement agencies, and shall not
be levied for general revenue purposes. The fees shall be imposed
pursuant to Section 66016 of the Government Code.
   (d) If the local enforcement agency fails to conduct an inspection
of permitted work for which permit fees have been charged pursuant
to this section within 60 days of receiving notice of the completion
of the permitted work, the permittee shall be entitled to
reimbursement of the permit fees. The local enforcement agency shall
disclose in clear language on each permit or on a document that
accompanies the permit that the permittee may be entitled to
reimbursement of permit fees pursuant to this subdivision.

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