One resident’s questions over a recent city fee increase, and how it relates to a proposed mining operation expansion, received a quick reply from officials this week.
That quarry query, posed by Libertarian city council hopeful Manuel Gomez, amounts to this:
Is it only a coincidence that the city hiked its fee for a zoning change by $350, just as a business began to seek such a relatively unusual switch?
Yes, officials said this week, it is.
Gomez posed the question Tuesday night during York City Council’s meeting, just ahead of council action moving forward York Building Products’ proposed rezoning of a city land tract.
The council also voted earlier this month to increase the price for such “landowner curative amendments” from $150 to $500.
There hasn’t been a zoning switch in some years, so Gomez asked if the fee hike is a result of the quarry proposal.
Are the two related?
No, they’re not, said both the city solicitor and council president.
Officials have said the old fee hadn’t been updated for years, perhaps decades, and an increase to cover costs was overdue.
But a day later, Gomez maintains that the higher fee was instituted, at least in part, to dissuade individual citizens and others from seeking such a zoning change.
“You can pay to amend zoning maps – if you can afford it,” he wrote. “Codified discrimination.”
Either way, bear in mind that if you’re looking to get your city property rezoned going forward, it’s going to cost you.