A recent article in the Almanac reports that the Town of Atherton has determined that it has overcharged some building permit fees. Citizens may be able to recoup their overcharges by requesting refunds. Much of the blame as been directed toward Atherton’s City Manager. Well, we’ve been hearing some moo-ving tails from COWS about similar problems that we have right here in our own Woodside COW-munity!
We have herd around of situations where the Town of Woodside has either charged incorrect fees or applied them inconsistently. Errors or inconsistencies such as requiring site development permits for tree removals or demolitions and building or fence permits for garden borders have also been reported. We have also recently herd of COW-munity members being overcharged quite heftily for site development fees for grading totals, as Town staff has, at times, been improperly including soil from foundation or pool excavations.
Other inaccurate calculations which have been reported to us are due to the Town of Woodside asking for cost estimates to base permit prices that reflect “Woodside construction costs” (higher than normal) rather than the actual costs of the work being performed. Now we understand that some of the herd likes to buy costly fixtures and import old world structural elements but many of us also run down to Home Depot for our home improvements.
There are rumors, which we are currently investigating, that some applicants are not asked for Woodside costs or additional fees, while many are. Moreover, we hear that some citizens have been sent to the Planning Commission and the ASRB, when the Town Code does not require that level of review.
So COWs, take a look at the fees which you have been charged by the Town and make sure they are all correct. If there are any over charges, please let us know. Let’s work together to help make our COW-munity a better place to live and in which to improve our pastures!