By Joe Earle

Sandy Springs city officials are considering cutting in half some city permit fees in order to boost building.
“We want to encourage people to come to Sandy Springs,” said Nancy Leathers, director of the city’s Community Development Department.
At its Feb. 16 meeting, the City Council is scheduled to consider proposals to cut building permit fees, zoning fees, land disturbance permit fees and other charges imposed by the community development department by 50 percent for the next year. The reduction would last for a year and then be reconsidered by the council, Leathers said.
The fees raised about $400,000 last year, city officials said, meaning the fee cuts would have cost the city about $200,000. City officials say they can’t forecast how much revenue the fees will create this year.
When council members were filled in on the plan during a meeting Feb. 2, several voiced support for the idea.
“It shows the good will of the city, that we are willing to reach out,” said Dist. 4 Councilwoman Ashley Jenkins.
Some council members questioned whether reducing the cost of city permits would really boost construction. The cost of the permits, they said, was relatively small compared to the cost of construction projects. But city employees said the fee price cuts could encourage homeowners to begin some small projects and might help speed up some larger projects.
“Every little bit helps in a tight economy,” Leathers said.