With a stagnant population and an overabundance of housing stock, the city has hit a new low in recent years for building permits for new residential construction.
In the city’s annual Permit Activity Report for building, electrical and mechanical permits issued by the city in 2012, only two building permits were issued for new residential construction.
The permits were for Habitat for Humanity homes.
The number of new residential construction permits issued reached 26 in 2002 and 27 in 2003. Since then, however, the number of permits has been on a downward spiral, going from 24 in 2004, to 16 in 2006, to five in 2009 and to four each in 2010 and 2011.
Construction values for those building permits also have declined from $8.8 million in 2004 to $2.4 million in 2006, to $560,000 in 2009 and to $115,000 in 2012.
Chris Milliken, planning and zoning manager with the city, said the downward slide has been the general trend with new construction housing and the market.
There have been efforts to fill current housing.
“There’s not a market for new housing construction,” Milliken said.
He said there haven’t been inquiries for new subdivisions.
Subdivisions like Stonegate and Devonshire are basically full, he said.
Bayview, off Boiling Springs Road, has a few lots available.
“There are lots here and there and across the lake,” Milliken said.
He said financing is part of the problem with getting families into homes. Properties may be cheap, but all the costs of construction add up.
The city has had some incentive programs in the past to encourage home-ownership, but again city officials cited financing with banks caused issues.
Mayor Scott Eisenhauer agrees that the city, as a lot of other communities around the country, isn’t in a position to build a lot of new houses.
Danville continues to demolish dilapidated and useless structures for possible infill, and city officials also continue to plan for future housing.
Future plans include mixed-income housing to replace current row-house public housing in the city.
“It’s the perfect time to look at the housing stock and our future needs…,” Eisenhauer said.
Milliken said the new retail developments can’t hurt future housing opportunities either.
If the city gets more jobs and sees more people here, there’s more demand for housing.
But in the near future, city officials don’t see much changing with new residential construction.
Some of the new non-residential construction projects have been Kohl’s, Watchfire’s expansion, Aspen Dental, the new McDonald’s coming this year at Main and Bowman, the AT&T cell tower near the hospital and the start of Meijer’s construction.
T.J. Maxx construction also is expected to start next month.
The city issued 14 non-residential construction permits in 2012 with a construction value of $22 million.
This compares to four permits issued in 2011 with a $2.8 million construction value.
The city saw 20 permits issued in 2002 with a construction value of $6.8 million.
In the other permit reports, more fees were received in 2012 with building, electrical and mechanical permits. Total fees in 2012 were $235,265. Fees totaled $121,360 in 2011.
There were 1,146 building permits, 253 electrical permits and 734 mechanical permits issued in 2012.
Total construction value based on the building permits in 2012 was $50.79 million.
In 2011, the total construction value was $25.6 million.
Total commercial additions/alterations increased in 2012, but residential additions/alterations decreased in 2012.
The city issued 227 commercial additions/alterations permits in 2012 with a $23.2 million construction value, compared to 200 permits in 2011 with a $20.2 million construction value.
The city issued 817 residential additions/alterations permits in 2012 with a construction value of $3.4 million. This compares to 943 permits issued in 2011 with a $5.3 million construction value.
Milliken said permits can be for new roofs, windows, doors, siding, furnaces and air conditioners, etc.
Permits are needed for inspections to make sure work is done according to city codes.
Construction permits and inspections
The city’s Construction Inspection Division is responsible for the permitting and inspections of new construction and remodeling/renovation work carried out in the city. This unit also is
responsible for the registration and licensing of contractors wishing to do work within Danville. The duties of the inspectors include: explaining to developers the city’s Building Code
requirements, reviewing and approving specific construction plans, issuing construction
permits and inspecting the work in progress to ensure code compliance.
Do I need a building permit?
If you are performing the following type of work, a permit is required: construct or alter a structure; construct an addition; demolish or move a structure; install or alter any equipment that is regulated by the building code; all other structures placed either above ground or
inground such as fences, patios and decks, swimming pools, satellite earth stations, microwave relay antennas; new windows, replacement or others; exerior siding, all trim coverings; roofs (all roofing being either new or recover involving more than one square of shingles or more than 100 square feet on other type of roofing. Less than that amount is a minor repair); interior
partition walls; new concrete sidewalks; concrete, asphalt and brick driveways; new concrete, asphalt and brick parking lots; and retaining walls in hazardous locations and/or abutting public property.
It is the responsibility of the permit holder to contact the appropriate inspector to schedule an inspection. City officials request providing at least 24 hours’ notice when requesting
inspections. In the city, inspections are generally required for all of the following activities: prior to pouring any concrete for footings, post footings, basement floors (for required vapor barrier), garage footings and floors (slab on grade), sidewalks and driveways; prior to covering or concealing any framing, electrical, plumbing, or heating, ventilation, air conditioning (hvac) work; prior to energizing an electrical service; and prior to use or occupancy (final inspection of any work that required a permit).
Failure to schedule required inspections with the appropriate inspector will result in fines of at least $100 per offense.
Inspections and Code Enforcement Secretary Nancy Larsen can be reached at 431-2332. Code Enforcement Manager Jim MeHarry can be reached at 431-2875.