Sec. 27-375.  Retention of expert assistnace and reimbursement by applicant.


(a)   The city may hire any consultant and/or expert necessary to assist the city in reviewing and evaluating the application, including the construction and modification of the site, once permitted, and any site inspections.


(b)   An applicant shall deposit with the city escrow funds sufficient to reimburse the city for all costs of the city’s consultant in providing expert evaluation and consultation to any agency of the city in connection with the review of any application, including where applicable, the lease negotiation, the preapproval evaluation, and the construction and modification of the site, once permitted. The initial deposit shall be $8,500.00. The placement of the $8,500.00 with the city shall precede the pre-application meeting. The city will maintain a separate escrow account for all such funds. The city’s consultants/experts shall invoice the city for its services related to the application. If at any time during the process this escrow account has a balance less than $2,500.00, the applicant shall immediately, upon notification by the city, replenish said escrow account so that it has a balance of at least $5,000.00. Such additional escrow funds shall be deposited with the city before any further action or consideration is taken on the application. In the event that the amount held in escrow by the city is more than the amount of the actual invoicing at the conclusion of the project, the remaining balance shall, upon request of the applicant, be promptly refunded to the applicant. If notified by the city that additional escrow is required, the applicant may request copies of consultants’ and/or experts’ invoices. If the applicant finds errors in those invoices, applicant may ask the city to audit those specific items for reasonableness, and may request relief therefrom if not deemed reasonable by the city.


(c)  Notwithstanding the above, there shall be a fee cap of $17,000.00 as to the total consultant fees to be charged to applicant in a case. The foregoing does not prohibit the city from imposing additional reasonable and cost based fees for costs incurred should an applicant amend or change its application and the fee cap shall not apply as to any fees which the city determines to be attributable to the dilatory or otherwise bad faith actions of applicant in providing a complete application or in proceeding with a public hearing.


(d)   The total amount of the funds needed as set forth in subsection (b) of this section may vary with the scope (lease negotiations and/or review) and complexity of the project, the completeness of the application and other information as may be needed to complete the necessary review, analysis and inspection of any construction or modification.


Source:  Ord. No. 5677, § 2, 08-17-2020;