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Benchmarking and development fee analysis for a city

Challenge

One of the largest cities in Texas retained BerryDunn to conduct a development fee analysis of the city’s development review process.The analysis focused on fees required to complete a development project, including but not limited to zoning changes, platting, plan reviews, building permits, impact fees, inspections,and the certificates required to occupy a property.  

The goal of the analysis was to assess the development fees of comparable municipalities using eight specific development scenarios that would ultimately show the city where it—and its fees—stood in comparison. 

Solution

BerryDunn’s team of objective advisors worked with the city to:

  • Facilitate initial project planning. BerryDunn confirmed the scope, timelines, and peer cities with key project stakeholders.
  • Gather fee schedules from peer cities. BerryDunn researched fee schedules from each peer city’s website, and obtained clarification where necessary.
  • Populate the fee comparison template. Using the information gathered, BerryDunn completed the fee comparison template based on the City’s designated scenarios and peer fee schedules.
  • Obtain clarification from peer cities. BerryDunn confirmed the accuracy of the comparison results, and followed up with the peer cities to ask questions and confirm the accuracy of calculated fees.
  • Create a development fee analysis memo. BerryDunn developed a memo that presented the scenarios and results for the project team’s review. The memo provided a summary of the fee comparison. 


Outcome

BerryDunn worked collaboratively with the city to compile and analyze fees, which provided the city with the insight of how it compared to peer jurisdictions. This knowledge also allowed the city to evaluate and understand where it is more or less competitive with other cities in the area, and will prove valuable when the city evaluates fee schedule updates.

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