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Front Page » March 8, 2005 » Local News » Building permit numbers decline in Carbon County
Published 3,867 days ago

Building permit numbers decline in Carbon County

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Sun Advocate community editor

New construction permits in the county were down last year according to an annual report issued by Carbon County Planning and Zoning Board. However, some nice homes and other buildings are still going up in the area and this year the numbers for this year may reverse the decline.

An overall decrease in building permits issued by Carbon County's planning and zoning office in 2004 was the second decline in as many years.

According to a report presented to the planning and zoning board on March 1, 2004 was the third lowest year for issuance in the last decade, with a total of 196 permits granted.

The highest year in the 10 years since 1995 was in 1998 when the county issued 274 permits. The lowest was 2001 when only 179 were permitted.

Last year, the county authorized 217 permits, while 2002 was the second highest year in the 10 year period with 246.

Carbon representatives do permitting for four towns in the area as well as the county at large. The towns are Helper, Sunnyside, Wellington and Scofield. Last year, 45 permits were issued in Helper, compared to 129 in 2003.

"The number of permits for 2003 was rather high for Helper because, the year before, there had been a hailstorm that damaged a lot of roofs so there were a lot of permits issued," said Kathy Chatterton of the planning office.

Chatterton generated the report.

The year 2002 was also high in number because residents rebuilt roofs after the storm that took place in the late summer. The number for that year was 80.

In comparison, the number issued for 2001 was 33, with only 24 being issued in 2000.

Scofield's number for last year was up too, from two in 2003 to six last year. The highest number for Scofield in the last decade was in 1998 when 19 permits were issued.

Sunnyside's numbers were down last year with only seven permits being issued in the small eastern Carbon County town. In 2003, there were 11 permits issued. The lowest number in the last decade in the town was two in 2001.

The number of permits issued in Wellington last year actually went up a little from 2003, from 29 to 35. Last year's numbers stayed consistent with the four years previous to 2003. The highest number of permits issued in Wellington in the last 10 years was in 1996 when the city saw 43 permits allowed in the town.

Actual building inspections hit a 10 year low last year in the county. Officials from the department conducted 833 inspections, while in 2003 they did 903. The highest number conducted in the last 10 years was in 1998 with 1,144. The next lowest number took place in 2001 with 897 inspections completed.

Despite the fact that the number of building permits dropped last year, revenues from those permits actually went up over 2003. The department collected $89,512.13 for the permits issued. In 2003 the total was only around $80,000. The most collected in the last 10 years was in 1998 when about $158,000 came in.

The lowest amount collected since 1996 was in 2000 when the department collected only a little over $70,000.

The report also broke down the kinds of permits issued. In the county 33 permits were for single family dwellings and 12 were for manufactured homes. A total of 27 permits were granted for additions or remodels, with 18 more for garages or carports. A total of 12 were for commercial/industrial interests.

In all, the total value of construction in the county based on the permits was $14,082,750.13.

In terms of planning activity last year 14 subdivisions with a total of 20 lots were approved, 36 business licenses were issued, 12 conditional use permits were allowed and there were a total of 16 zone changes approved.

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