Councilmember Randall Stone pushes for resolution on California State Building Code regulations regarding permit fees for vandalism in the City of Chico. Originally approached with the problem in January 2017, Councilmember Stone sought relief for property owners suffering from vandalism who then had to pay an additional $145 permit fee for repeat window glazing.
Not satisfied with the solutions provided for other business owners, Stone sought to find solutions that were still within the confines of the state building code requirements and still worked with property owners for solutions.
“I was surprised that a vandalism repair permit was required and worked with City staff to eliminate the fee on a second incident within a limited time frame. Although this satisfied the permit fee for the second event, it was still uncomfortable to me
that we were charging a permit fee for a glazing service.”
Stone requested that the item be agendized for discussion on how best to negate the fees mandated by state permit requirements. Stone pressed for stakeholders to work with the City of Chico’s Building Department on an amicable solution. A joint meeting of stakeholders is scheduled for this Friday, April 14th from 11:00AM to 12:00PM in the Old Municipal Building Conference Room at 441 Main Street in Downtown Chico. The City of Chico Building Division is seeking feedback from
local commercial businesses and property owners on the most common types of vandalism occurring. The Building Division will also be discussing and evaluating the cost of building permits for vandalism repair and the procedures to obtain them. All City of Chico business owners, operators, and commercial property owners (including apartment buildings) are invited to attend and participate in this discussion.
Councilmember Stone’s email exchanges, as part of the public record, can be by clicking this link: Vandalism Permit History.
Councilmember Stone’s Original Email of January 13th, 2017 to City Manager Mark Orme:
“Evidently there’s been a rash of shattered windows occurring downtown (read: a number of routine shatterings, typically overnight) not dissimilar to the tire slashings that occurred in my residential neighborhood in the Summer of 2015. I’m confident PD has been made aware and hopefully they are adding extra eyes.
My immediate problem and concern is our permit process that requires a $150 permit to replace broken glass downtown. Obviously requiring a permit for changing window frames, or altering the business is important to have review. But in these cases, the businesses are having to replace – some multiple times – just the glass with a glazer. There are no additional changes or other considerations. So you can imagine that a business owner downtown having to repeatedly replace broken glass would find a $150 permit for each change rather exorbitant and facile. Some discussions downtown center on the more splenetic remedies such as plywood over the exposed holes, etc.
My question is, there isn’t really a $150 permit for replacing broken (read: existing) glass – particularly after an incident of vandalism, is there? In the case of Mountain Sports, their window was shattered on the 25th and again last night. Of course, the $150 permit fee was paid on Christmas weekend. But now the window contractor has indicated that the City mandates a fee that must be paid for the second breakage. The contractor is a fairly new contractor and wants to ensure that he is doing everything correctly and therefore won’t usurp the process where others might.
If there is indeed a $150 charge that is unwaiverable, then I’ll request we agendize a
discussion on these more otiose fees. I am also prepared to crowd fund the permit fees for these unfortunate occurrences starting with my own contribution.
I await your guidance on this issue.