Blanchester discusses ordinance on permit fees, fines


By John Hamilton - jhamilton@wnewsj.com



The entire proposed ordinance is online at wnewsj.com.

BLANCHESTER — The village council tabled an ordinance establishing permit fees and fines for zoning certificates.

At Thursday’s Blanchester council meeting, councilmembers Harry Brumbaugh and Reilly Hopkins asked the ordinance be tabled to allow further review and address any questions they have for the Village Planning Commission.

In the ordinance, the commission recommended 25 changes.

“Each application for a zoning certificate, the following sums shall be paid to and collected by the Zoning Inspector, the payment of which shall accompany the application,” the ordinance states.

Mayor John Carman advised the council that they were planning “very minimal” increases to the existed fees.

Among the prices listed include: $50 for an underground or above-ground pool greater than two feet in-depth and/or with a 100-square foot surface area; $100 for razing, demolishing, or tearing down a building over 200 square feet; $50 for a deck; and $250 for variances for subdivisions.

The ordinance also notes a $50 fine for the first zoning violation along with a double permit fee. The second violation will result in a $150 fine and paying a double permit fee.

Regarding the ordinance for the variances, all applications for them “shall be required to go before (a) public hearing” and other variances not listed in the ordinance shall pay a required minimum fee of $250.

Carman told council that a reason for this ordinance was due to the amount of time between the last time they reviewed their fees — 2016. He also advised this would put them “in line” with other communities in Clinton County.

Village Solicitor Katie Wilkin advised that when there are zoning violation charges filed in Clinton County Municipal, many defendants will just pay the fine and that would be the end of it.

“We are lower in terms of our fees and our fines than the rest of the county,” said Wilkin.

Councilmember Don Gephart told Carman he would like to see the commission’s findings that lead to these increases.

Also during council:

• It was announced that Jewelie Casteel, the village fiscal officer, submitted her letter of resignation and would be leaving her post in two weeks. Carman praised Casteel for her work for the village. Hopkins suggested forming a committee to seek out the village’s next fiscal officer.

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By John Hamilton

jhamilton@wnewsj.com

The entire proposed ordinance is online at wnewsj.com.

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574