Council Sets Double Fee Permits for Rule Breakers

August 15, 2022. The Community Development Department presented a resolution to City Council Monday evening regarding a change to the fee schedule that would add a double permit fee when a property owner or contractor begins work without obtaining a permit.    

City staff have seen an increase in work being commenced without permits.  When this happens, a Stop Work order is issued for the project, and all work must stop until a permit is obtained. 

Research done by staff in the Community Development Department revealed that increased permit fees for failure to obtain a permit are common.  Gladstone, Liberty, Richmond, and Clay County all issue double fees when work has commenced without a proper permit.  Kansas City issues a triple fee. 

When a permit application is received, the Community Development Department staff confirms that a business license has been obtained by the contractor.  This process is in place to protect consumers and includes confirmation of insurance.  The permit applicant is informed of the inspection process.  The permit fee is collected, which covers the cost of the inspection.  Inspections ensure that the work was done according to code and is safe.  When a permit is not obtained, an inspection cannot be completed, which may result in work that is shoddy or unsafe. 

“We are seeking to protect consumers by ensuring contractors are getting work permitted and inspected for life safety issues,” said Community Development Director Melinda Mehaffy. 

City Council unanimously approved the double permit fee for those who do not obtain a permit prior to commencing work.  When emergency repair work must happen on the weekend or after hours, there will be no double fee applied as long as the applicant presents at the earliest possible time to complete a permit application.  Emergency repair work includes only work that must be completed for life safety or sanitary issues.  This typically involves plumbing or electrical work, but would not include projects such as building a new deck or a planned roof replacement. 

Anyone with questions about permits may call the Community Development Department at 816-630-0756.

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