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Lindley Estes is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Lindley Estes.

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Stafford considering changes to planning fees

Stafford might change the fees charged by the county’s planning department to review cluster subdivision concept plans.

Currently the county charges $1,975 plus $125 per lot to review cluster concept plans. There is also a 2.75 percent technology fee tacked onto the subtotal.

Fees add up quickly under that model for developers proposing cluster subdivisions with numerous lots. For example The Garrett Cos. recently paid $103,880 for a review of its proposed 793-home cluster subdivision in the Widewater area of North Stafford.

The new proposed base fee would be $250 plus $5 per lot, according to a legal ad that ran in Tuesday’s Free Lance-Star. The 2.75 percent technology fee would remain. A new $400 utility review fee is also proposed.

Under that structure, for example, Garrett’s fee to the planning department would have been nearly $100,000 less.

A Feb. 19 public hearing in front of the Stafford Board of Supervisors is scheduled on the matter.

Stafford continually reviews its fees to assure charges are representative of the level of effort required to process applications, said Deputy County Administrator Keith Dayton in an email.

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