LA Eliminates Sidewalk Repair Fee - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

From Anchor Tony McEwing

LA Eliminates Sidewalk Repair Fee

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Los Angeles, CA -

Finally, Los Angeles has done something to help homeowners instead of hurting them. Sometimes it seems city officials, in their effort to fix things, end up only making them worse. But not this time. Property owners who pay for sidewalk repairs will not have to fork over an additional permit fee. In other words, the city is actually NOT going to charge you to do something that, when it comes right down to it, helps the city out. One wonders what took them so long to figure out what would seem perfectly logical to most people. If you want to encourage people to fix the sidewalks in front of their properties, charging exorbitant permit fees is not exactly the way to do it. That's just plain old common sense.

But it gets better. Not only did the city eliminate the onerous fees, but the vote was unanimous. I mean think about it. How often do governmental officials agree to take away money from themselves and allow residents to keep it? While I heartily applaud the city council's action, it's not entirely altruistic. Los Angeles has an estimated 4,600 miles of broken sidewalks. The cost of repairing them all is $1.5-billion or more. The city just doesn't have that kind of dough. The more incentives the city can provide people to do the repairs right outside their own properties, the better.

Up until now, the city had been charging a flat fee of $265 along with 85 cents per square foot to property owners who wanted to repair their sidewalks. That could add $600 or more to the cost.  Councilman Joe Buscaino perhaps said it best. "Until we implement a comprehensive repair program, the very least we can do is stop penalizing responsible homeowners and business owners with fees when they are willing to proactively repair their own sidewalks, at their own cost."  Amen, Councilman Buscaino. Amen.

Tony McEwing co-anchors FOX 11 Morning News at 4:30 am and provides news updates for the Emmy award winning Good Day LA, broadcast weekdays from 7:00 - 10:00 am. He also co-anchors the FOX 11 10 am News and the FOX 11 News at Noon.
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