Routt County seeing uptick in commercial construction
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — There are more commercial buildings going up in Routt County this year.
Data reflecting the number of building permits issued by the Routt County Building Department shows a boost in commercial development outside of Steamboat Springs. Fewer residential developments have received building permits this year compared to the same time last year, though this could be due to a delayed start to the construction season as weather kept the ground snow-covered and muddy this spring.
Building permits are required for both new construction and many types of renovations in the county, so the number of permits issued can hint at trends in local construction.
Routt County Building Official Todd Carr said there is more to consider though, as projects working through the review process don’t appear in those counts until they have approval and a building permit is issued.
“We’re busy — busier than we were last year — but the records and the permit reports lag behind because a permit might not be issued yet,” he said.
By May 31, the department had collected $312,923.28 in plan review fees — a 38% increase over the $226,484.55 it collected at the same point last year.
Carr said the department sees a rush of plan reviews in March, April and again in October and November. Building permits typically peak around May and June, he said. Building Department inspectors see a heavy workload from the start of summer until the snow starts falling.
“Commercial activity is stronger this year,” Carr said. “It’s definitely an increase to what we saw last year.”
Seven commercial and industrial building permits have been issued so far this year, all outside of Steamboat city limits.
Carr said there are more coming down the pipeline once they complete reviews. Many of these are in Hayden, including plans for a new terminal at Yampa Valley Regional Airport, a new school and a larger Kum & Go convenience store.
An expansion to the airport’s fixed-base operator’s facility has already been permitted.
City Attorney Dan Foote said the Marriott can continue through the development review process as the building has a valid development approval “until and unless” the plaintiffs challenging the decision receive a stay on that approval.
Carr believes a longer winter and a wetter spring have contributed to a lag in residential permits over last year’s numbers. Applications came in earlier last year.
A total of 21 permits have been issued for residential units in Steamboat Springs, including single family homes, duplexes, secondary units, live/work units and a manufactured home. Thirty-five had been issued at the same time last year within city limits.
In Routt County, including the smaller municipalities in the county, 25 permits have been issued for residential units, compared to 22 by the end of May 2018.
Carr said the department saw an influx of applications in the last part of May. These are not yet reflected in the number of permits issued.
“We definitely see an uptick in the single-family homes coming in now,” he said. “We’re reviewing a bunch of them, but they’re not out the door yet.”
Carr said two multifamily developments are undergoing review as well: Fox Springs Condominiums (50 units) and the Yampa Valley Housing Authority’s Alpenglow Village apartments (72 units) on the south side of Pine Grove Road.
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