New Fees for SD Fire-Rescue

The city council approved new fees to generate income for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department at its meeting yesterday.

A new fee for inspection of high-rise buildings was set at $10.96 per 1,000 square feet of building space and will be applied retroactively to inspections conducted in recent years. This is expected to generate approximately $386,000, which will be used to fund the inspection program.

Also new is a $138 hourly charge for specialty services, including fire safety classes, assistance in conducting fire drills and updating fire safety literature, and for research and other special requests.

Finally, medical air transport services will be billed at $3,900 per hour, up from a previous rate of $3,250 hourly. This rate is intended to provide full cost recovery in the operation of Fire-Rescue helicopters and the use of their personnel.


"...and will be applied retroactively..."

What?! This is legal?

No, it is NOT legal to apply it retroactively. That would make it an ex post facto law.

Sorry folks, a little clarification seems to be needed. The council in 2009 instructed Fire to begin charging for inspections, but there were objections to the charges brought forth. The fees were suspended, but building owners were notified at that time that they would be retroactively billed once a billing methodology (the $10.96/1,000sf formula) was developed.

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