Residential building permits could be turning the corner

You don’t hear the pounding of hammers early in the morning or the roar of bull- dozers clearing a lot much anymore. And Chesterfield budgeters have predicted that it will be sometime, if ever, before  returning to the glory days of the mid-2000s.

While large construction like Amazon, the Kroger at Chippenham and Hull Street are in the news concerning commercial building, residential building has languished in the background. Although not making headlines, it’s gaining some ground every month.

“I believe it’s lower interest rates,” said Building Inspection Director, Richard C. Witt. “There is more consumer confidence and although you never know, I would hope it continues into next year.”

As early as January of this year, building COs (Certificates of Occupancy) were beginning to increase. Tracked in comparison to 2011, the story is in the numbers. In January of this year we had already surpassed 2011. Not by much, only seven single-family units, but seven more than last year is a start.

COs continued to climb throughout the year. By the end of Chesterfield’s fiscal year, June 30, the number of completed units had reached 369 (60) more than last year), which continues the slow climb the building inspection department had all year.

July of this year also gained over last year adding 12 more homes to the roster. Each and every month, according to the building inspection department documents, Chesterfield has had an increase; April bringing the most at 37. That means 37 new homes were built and moved into.

The number of homes closed in 2007 was phenomenal compared to this year or last and 2006 was even better. The Chesterfield inspection department wrote 1,625 certificates of occupancy in 2007 and in 2006 the inspection department boasted almost three times the number of COs than what was posted in 2011. The inspection department was busy issuing 2,106 permits allowing families, singles or couples to move into a new home.

But after the great crash at the end of 2008, the county has scratched its way little by little to make building in Chesterfield viable again.  

Most of the building has been in the western part of the county and according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch much of that work has been going on in the Magnolia Green development.

Overall building permits have been climbing as well, which includes apartments and townhomes. Through July the inspection department has written 757 building permits for residential units, almost twice as many as those issued to date last year – 453.


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