Beehive fee hike among those to have city buzzing

Keeping roosters, carrying guns, driving taxis and throwing loud parties just got more expensive in Pacifica.

Many city fees were recently increased or introduced to deal with the rise in labor costs, said Ann Ritzma, director of administrative services. She said the raise will help generate more revenue for the city, which faced $1.1 million budget deficit in the current fiscal year. The fees will take effect in July.

But while Pacifica stands to make only about $30,000 from the increases, some residents were upset about the hefty fees.

Jeff Moroso, the only licensed beekeeper in Pacifica, spoke against the new increased honeybee fees of $600 a year.

“It’s crazy; I’m not about to pay that kind of money,” said Moroso, who keeps four hives on the roof of his house. “For commercial operation, that’s one thing, but I’m just a hobbyist. I don’t make any money off the bees, and I give honey away.”

Moroso, who received his beekeeping license last year after a neighbor complained about the bees, was able to convince the City Council shortly after the decision to raise fees. The fee to keep the bees will stay at $80 per hive.

Permits to carry a concealed weapon, trim a heritage tree, or keep a rooster, which used to cost from $70 to $80, have now gone up into the triple digits. Cabdrivers and masseurs who have to go through a background check to operate in the city will have to pay nearly double what they used to.

“The fees increased because it takes more time to process something or because that individual’s rate has increased,” Ritzma said. “We look at each fee and count how much time, who is involved, and how much money it takes to provide that service or program.”

Pacifica will also have several new fees, including a $300 annual tobacco license fee and a $150 loud party response charge.

“We can go to parties 10 times a night and they’ll just continue, so it’s to discourage them from having out of control parties,” Pacifica Police Department Capt. Fernando Realyvasquezsaid.

svasilyuk@examiner.com

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