County Building Permits Are Too High

My name is Rolland Smith Robinson. I am 98 years old and a WWII U.S. Navy veteran. I am also a native to the Shasta County area.

I was in the construction and development business for many years and I was responsible for eight home subdivisions. They Included six in Cottonwood and two in Redding. There were about 500 homes in all.

During that time the Shasta County inspectors and personel were courteous and helpful. It was obvious that they had the best interest of the home buyer and building contractors in mind. The cost of the Shasta County Building permits were also reasonable. Now this has all changed.

I am uneasy as I look out on a different and strange nation and world. However, my main concern is the disappointing difference in our local government.

Now, the county tells the tax payer what the county is going to do regardless of the public’s best interest.

The first 220 homes that we built in my subdivisions were $1 dollar per square foot for a $16,000 dollar house with 3 bedrooms, 2 bath, 2 car garage and 1,300 square feet.

From this point on, the Shasta County building permits have gone up every year. Now, the unbelievable cost of the permit for a 2,500 square foot house, according to the Shasta County Planning Department, is $29,482! This is more than the building contractor gets for building the house. The building permit is now, a major cost in the home building industry.

To build a subdivision with homes, you will need $1,000,000 dollars worth of earth moving equipment. You will need to put in paved streets, concrete curb and gutter, and sidewalk. You will also need to put in all the underground utilities, sewer, water, electric and drainage. You will also need equipment operators to run the equipment, a crew of journeymen of all phases of the building trades, and the equipment that goes with them. All of this is tangible, and is needed by the building contractor to do his job.

The Shasta County building permit is not tangible. It is not something that the county does to help with the building of a home. It is not something that the county adds to the house. It is only a piece of paper that says yes or no. It is also a duplication of about a dozen other government agencies that the tax payer has already paid for.

We, again, ask the Shasta County Board of Supervisors to review this situation and ask the Shasta County Planning Department, how they can justify the amount of the building permit fees. We also want to know how they can justify the 100 foot major road on the Nelson Brothers subdivision. How can they possibly justify the 1 mile 100 foot wide road that dead ends on the property and that would cost, according to the engineer’s estimate, $2,640,000.00.

The cost of the building permits should be reasonable and in the best interest of the public. It is paramount for current and future planning in Shasta County.

Rolland Smith Robinson

Cottonwood, Calif.

Doni Chamberlain

Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded A News Cafe in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke. Chamberlain holds a Bachelor's Degree in journalism from CSU, Chico. She's an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She's been featured and quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Washington Post, L.A. Times, Slate, Bloomberg News and on CNN, KQED and KPFA. She lives in Redding, California.

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