Construction lethargy looking like history in Carson City

A water truck moistens the ground Friday at Schulz Ranch where a 100 lot subdivision is under construction.

A water truck moistens the ground Friday at Schulz Ranch where a 100 lot subdivision is under construction.

Carson City building permits were solid last month and more were coming, Lee Plemel, Community Development Department director, said Friday.

“Overall building permits were up the last couple of months,” he said. He then supplied data showing July was the second best month in the past year and recorded the highest valuation for overall building permits submitted in a month since October, 2014.

“The total valuation of building permits submitted in July, 2015, was over $3.9 million,” according to Plemel.

Single family residential permits, meanwhile, had been running about steady the last half of 2014 and first half this year, but July-August stirrings and an anticipated pick up in the pipeline should breach that steady-as-she-goes record.

“We have a 41-unit residential development off Eagle Station Lane scheduled for the Planning Commission meeting of Sept. 30,” he said, noting developers are ready to pull the trigger. “They have indicated to us that they want to get permits to start construction as soon as approvals are received.”

It isn’t the only housing development activity on the way.

Apartments, also called multi-family dwelling units in planning parlance, have been dead in the water here since 2010. But Plemel indicated the string of zeroes, from 2011-14, could end soon.

“We also have a 90-unit apartment complex on the September Planning Commission agenda,” he said. “The development is proposed on GS Richards Boulevard near the Silver Oak Golf Course club house adjacent to the ninth green.”

From 2000 through 2003, single family housing permits were in the hundreds in the city each year. They dwindled to under a hundred annually in 2004-05, under 50 in 2006, and dropped to 23 in 2007. They hit 13 the next year and were under a dozen annually the next four.

Single family permits increased to 27 in 2013, 36 last year and 20 so far this year through mid-week. A dozen of this year’s came in July-August with more than four months remaining to top last year’s level.

In the first six months of this calendar year Plemel’s department averaged 2.7 single family house permits per month while in the year long July, 2014-June, 2015 period the average was 2.8 per month, figures that demonstrated the steady-as-she-goes situation until recent weeks.

“The building division received nine single family residential building permits in July,” Plemel said. With three before August ends and the 40 unit residential development off Eagle Station Lane on the radar, permit data appears on track for a good 2015. That doesn’t even count the 100-lot Schulz Ranch LLC subdivision initial phase, also on tap after infrastructure grading and other pre-construction work is done.

Such grading has started, but Plemel was uncertain if actual permits would be issued this year or begin coming in next year.

Plemel’s comments and data came on the heels of news this week taxable sales in the city spiked upward 21.3 percent in July as the state’s went up 7 percent, both figures compared with June.

State government said in the taxation report Carson City taxable auto sales were up more than 20 percent and general store merchandise sales were up more than 37 percent. Perhaps just as telling for the local economy and construction or home improvement, according to the state’s data, taxable sales of building materials jumped 48.6 percent here last month.


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