Now that the fees charged to a builder in a Livermore, Calif., project have topped $100,000, the natural question is how high they are everywhere else, says Mick Pattinson, president of the California Building Industry Association and CEO of builder Barratt American. “Considerable sums are being charged in every city,” he says. “It’s extreme, but not a wild extreme.”
The case in point is Standard Pacific’s Alden Lane project, where four- and five-bedroom homes start in the low $600,000s. The total for all fees, from permits and inspections to impact fees for roads, schools, etc.: $118,000.
The CBIA is working with the building officials association to lower fees. Also, retired Palm Springs builder Dick McCarthy has successfully fought fees in several areas, showing in at least two cases that fees are illegally excessive, with overages and interest going into general funds.
McCarthy wants to raise awareness of the issue to a national level. If your local association is fighting high permit fees, he wants to know. Contact him at