A host of fees and fines increased last week with the adoption of the city’s $745 million budget.

The bulk of increases, including most fees and parking rates, increased by 4 percent to keep up with inflation concerns. However, about 140 fees were added, altered beyond the standard increase or had their services clarified.

In some cases, the fee increases are pass throughs from third party vendors who provide the services. For example, fees associated with embalming (from $676.03 to $721.03), pacemaker removal (from $66.66 to $86.66) preparation of remains (from $324.03 to $384.03) and casketing of un-embalmed remains (from $262.90 to $292.90) all increased at Woodlawn Cemetery.

The cemetery also had the largest new fee of $22,845 for a large cremation niche. As a result of the latest Abandoned Graves Project and property sold back to the Cemetery, there were several cremation niches in the old part of the mausoleum that are now available. The addition of the new fees establishes pricing to sell the newly available property.

The largest non-cemetery fee came from the Architectural Review Board for Administrative Design Approval (New Construction). The $4,942.56 new fee is for staff-level review of certain new construction projects. This fee would be applicable to a new category of projects that are eligible for streamlined review.

Some fees were increased due to long periods of stagnation, such as fees for renting the carousel building at the Pier that have remained the same since 2014.

A handful of fees were reduced including the cost for running fitness classes in parks. Council voted to remove the quarterly use fee for training in the City’s general parks for commercial fitness trainers in the hopes this will further activate the park spaces. Council approved charging a reduced fee for Palisades park and Beach parks as they are prime locations for trainers. Fees are now $468, $936 or $1,404 depending on the size of the class.

A few fees were eliminated entirely.

Council had previously approved waiving the application processing fees for Landmark Designation and Structure of Merit permits for Landmarks Commissioners and nonprofit organizations.


The majority of fines were unchanged however, three categories of new fine or fine increase were approved.

Landlords will be required to pay more if they fail to adequately compensate tenants who are temporarily relocated.

“The current fines for failure to provide relocation assistance required by the Code are less than the daily relocation benefit required,” said the staff report. “The current fine amount is also a per day violation, which makes the citation process more difficult as each citation has to have a separate fine for each day.”

The new fine increases the first violation from $250 to $2,000 and the increase is 125% of the first fine for a second and 150% for the third violation.

New fines were approved for violations of the city’s home sharing ordinance. The fines vary from $250 for a simple violation to $5,000 for repeated violations. More complicated violations will carry a fine of between 400% and 800% of the advertised price of a rental.

Fines associated with operating a parklet also increased. All fines associated with parklets were a flat $75 but have increased to between $250 and $500 depending on the violation.

Councilwoman Lana Negrete questioned the parklet fines and their impact on small businesses as the city also increased some parkelt fees, such as the removal of parking meters.

“Because from what I heard when I was pushing back on a lot of these parklet fees was that everybody’s in compliance, it’s not that big of a deal. Now, I’m hearing that we need to raise it 400% to match the other fees because there actually are people who are not compliant,” she said.

Code Enforcement Manager Daniel Mick said there were some scofflaw businesses and that his department had worked with them for more than six months with no success and that the new fine schedule standardized parklet fines with other business fines such as operating without a business license.

All changes to the budget are effective as of July 1.


Matthew Hall has a Masters Degree in International Journalism from City University in London and has been Editor-in-Chief of SMDP since 2014. Prior to working at SMDP he managed a chain of weekly papers...