City of Coos Bay release – The City of Coos Bay requires business and rental property licenses for businesses operating within our jurisdiction. The application process for these licenses provides the City with information such as the number, type, size, etc. of business, residential, and commercial rental property. This information helps the City assess impacts, public infrastructure needs, and provides information for economic planning and development purposes. It is also a mechanism to ensure businesses adhere to local regulations, zoning laws, building, fire, health, and safety standards. The City strives to set fees at a level that covers the cost of the program or service and be comparable with similar size jurisdictions. A recent review of the City’s business license program revealed our fees were not covering the cost to administer the program and were significantly lower than similar jurisdictions. We also identified a gap in service to meet the identified goals above of ensuring ongoing compliance with safety standards. These standards are in place for the safety of property owners, employees, community members, visitors, and our emergency services personnel. It is common for changes to be made within a building or space over time and for maintenance timelines to be missed. Did you know, changing or adding locks may increase security, but violate the fire code? Or, that if a business moves out of a space and a new business moves in, there may be different zoning, building or fire code requirements depending on the type of business? Routine inspections are important component of monitoring all of these dynamic factors and keep our businesses safe and operational. To address these challenges, City Council has adopted some changes to our business license program and fees. The fee structure has been simplified to a flat rate system. Home occupations, independent contractors and seasonal business licenses will be $60 annually. All other general business licenses will be $120 per year. A fire inspection fee of $120 will apply when a fire inspection is conducted. Currently, inspections are conducted for all new businesses, by request, or when a complaint is received. In the coming months we will begin routine inspections of existing businesses. This will allow us to help businesses get off to a good start and provide an opportunity for City staff to educate existing business owners about common hazards and changes that may impact safety. Rental property license fees will be $25 per unit. Rental property licenses are required for property owners having long term lease or rentals (in excess of 30 consecutive days) of single-family homes, duplexes, apartments or commercial buildings or portions thereof. Short term vacation rentals, hotels/motels, manufactured/mobile home parks, RV parks and storage units are considered general commercial businesses and not rental property. Existing businesses will see the new business license fee on their renewal notice coming out later this fall for their 2024 business license. New business license and fire inspection fees will go into effect January 1, 2024, for new businesses applying for a license, those requesting an inspection, or subject to a complaint. Existing businesses will begin to see the fire inspection fee with their 2025 renewals.