Building permits decline |

Building permits decline

— The valuation of new building permits in Routt County outside the city is slightly ahead of last year, but the figure within the city of Steamboat Springs is off by about $12 million.

Through August, permits issued by the Routt County Regional Building Department for new construction in the city added up to $38.17 million in valuations.

A year ago at the same time, the building department had already issued permits with a valuation of $50.2 million.

In contrast, the valuation of permits issued in the county outside the city stood at $39.76 million at the end of August, about $400,000 ahead of last year at the same time.

“Through June, we were a little ahead of last year,” top building department official Mark Marchus said.

“It seemed like things dropped off, boom, on July 1. In August we took a nose dive. What’s keeping us going right now is homes (being built) for $350,000 and less.”

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Marchus’ remarks were made in reference to combined statistics for building permits issued both inside and outside the city.

During August, just two new single-family homes and two duplex units (one building) were permitted in the city. In the county, 16 single-family units and no duplexes were permitted.

A total of 16 single family and duplex units were permitted in July, Marchus said. That compares with each preceding five months of July when more than 30 were issued.

The segments of the construction industry that have been quiet for much of the year in terms of new permits are the “super homes” and large condominium projects, Marchus said.

Although several condominium projects are under construction, they were either permitted late in 2000 or in the first couple of months this year, Marchus said.

The total number of permits issued in August within the city limits was 29 compared to 38 a year ago.

The 29 permits issued last month includes 14 building alterations. Only one multi-family project numbering six units was permitted. Two commercial buildings with combined valuations of $2.1 million were permitted, and a single industrial building valued at just $3,000 was permitted.

In something of a rarity, the building department issued a permit for a commercial building in the county.

That permit was issued for the new members lodge at Lake Catamount, with a valuation of about $1.1 million.

Valuations assigned to buildings for purposes of assessing building permit fees don’t represent the full cost of a building because they don’t take into account all of the fixtures, appliances and other qualities of the structure that are required before the structure is ready to be occupied.

The building department is funded by the fees it collects.

Year to date fees are $518,827 compared to $522,225 last year at the end of August. Expenditures this year are $638,152 compared to $571,370 last year.