Fees for zoning and sewer system development and to use the Bel Air Reckord Armory and its facilities will be going up in the Town of Bel Air, effective July 1.

The Bel Air commissioners voted, 4-0, at their town meeting Monday evening in favor of those resolutions as well as one to establish a $200 civil fine for illegally discharging into the town's sewer system. Commissioner Edward Hopkins was absent Monday.

Director of Administration Michael Krantz said during the meeting that some zoning and board of appeals fees were "presently insignificant to cover the cost of research, documentation, report preparation" while other fees have to be increased to cover the town's processing costs.

Increases of $50 were approved for the zoning interpretation fee, from $150 to $200 plus advertising costs; and the fee to apply for non-conforming use expansion, from $150 to $200, plus advertising costs.

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A $100 increase, from $50 to $150, is set for the fee to apply for a minor variance or special exception.

The largest increase is $150 – from $50 to $200 – for the comprehensive zoning-rezoning application fee.

Krantz also described $5 increases for fence permit applications, from $20 to $25, plus 4 cents per foot over 250 feet, and for shed permit applications, from $20 to $25 for structures 120 square feet and less; the fee will increase from $30 to $35 for structures between 120 and 200 square feet.

The resolution also adds e-checks to the non-sufficient funds fee of $25 per check.

All the sewer fees are being amended to state that they are "collected by the Town of Bel Air on behalf of Harford County."

Krantz said the sewer connection charges have "always" been collected for the county by the town.

"We're simply stating that fact in the fee schedule itself," he explained.

In addition, the county system development fee will be set at $6,476.60 per 30 fixture units, effective July 1, reflecting a 6 percent annual increase.

A public hearing followed Krantz' introduction, but no one from the public offered a comment.

During the commissioners' comments period, Mayor Robert Reier asked Krantz about the $150 increase in the rezoning request fee.

Krantz deferred to Planning Director Kevin Small.

A lot of research was involved and the town calculated that, at a minimum, the simplest request would take about four hours of a planner's time and about two hours of an administrative assistant's time, Small explained.

Small said town officials estimated that time is worth about $200.

Armory fee increases approved

Krantz said fees to use the town-owned and operated Bel Air Reckord Armory were last set in 2007. Increases are needed to cover operating expenses, and the fee schedule needs to be updated to better align it with its use.

"The Armory's fees are well below market standards and have not been adjusted or increased since 2007," Krantz explained.