West Tisbury building permit fees will jump

West Tisbury selectmen Cynthia Mitchell, Richard Knabel, Jeffery "Skipper" Manter, (left to right) and town administrator Jennifer Rand met Thursday January 2, at the Howes House. — Photo by Tony Omer

Next month, residential building permit fees in West Tisbury will increase by more than 25 percent in a number of categories. At their meeting on Thursday, January 2, at the Howes House, West Tisbury selectmen voted to approve a new fee schedule presented by building inspector Joe Tierney.

The only discussion following Mr. Tierney’s presentation of the new fee structure was whether to institute the change retroactively to January 1, or wait until February 1. Selectmen agreed on February 1.

The new fees are necessary to cover the cost of more work that is required of the building department and more inspections because of more complex designs, Mr. Tierney said.

He said many of the new plans have components that are drawn up by engineers requiring, for instance, multiple foundation inspections to check footings, the specified steel embedded in the foundations, and the foundation after it is poured. He said that the new energy efficiency requirements, like the stretch code recently adopted by the town, also necessitate more inspections.

A building permit for a residential dwelling or guesthouse up to 1,500 square feet will increase from $500 to $700. There was no change in the 20 cent per square foot fee for structures over 1,500 sq. ft. Additions up to 1,000 sq. ft. will increase from $300 to $400. Demolition permits will increase from $100 to $150.

New commercial construction permits will increase from $600 to $700. In addition, the square foot charge will increase from 20 to 25 cents. There was no increase in the cost of wood stove and sign permits, unchanged at $100 and $50 respectively. However, pool inspections will double from $100 to $200. A complete list of fees can be obtained from the town hall.

In other business, former selectman and cemetery superintendent John Alley gave a touching tribute to Howard Wall who helped tend the town’s cemeteries for many years. There was a moment of silence for Mr. Wall, who died on December 28.

Selectmen approved Julius Lowe to a five-year term on the zoning board of appeals. Mr. Lowe grew up in West Tisbury. It is his first time on the board. He is replacing Eric Whitman, who did not seek a new term when his expired last year.

Highway superintendent Richard Olsen said he is working on a plan to renovate the Old Courthouse Road building that is used as a public works garage. He said the building could use new doors, insulation, sheetrock and about $6,000 in electrical work. Selectman Jeffrey “Skipper” Manter said that if the cost of the work exceeds $25,000 the proposal must go to capital improvements committee.