Farmington new-home construction shows signs of lifeLooking ahead at 2013, Farmington building official Ken Lewis is cautiously optimistic about what he sees in the city’s new-construction future. With six plan reviews in progress since the beginning of the year, Lewis thinks new construction might just continue to rise this year.
By: Michelle Leonard, The Farmington Independent
Looking ahead at 2013, Farmington building official Ken Lewis is cautiously optimistic about what he sees in the city’s new-construction future.
With six plan reviews in progress since the beginning of the year, Lewis thinks new construction might just continue to rise this year.
“It’s good, because last year we had 14 (plan reviews) off of the first quarter and that goes through March,” Lewis said. “We’re almost half-way from that off of just the first couple weeks of the year. At that rate, we’ll do pretty well.”
Lewis sees a slow, but sure increase in the city’s housing construction market. In 2011, the city of Farmington issued 52 single-family permits, but that number jumped up to 68 for 2012. While he doesn’t expect the city will get back to the rate of construction it was at just six years ago — when it issued 118 single-family building permits in one year — he does see a slight trend toward new construction.
“There are still foreclosures out there. They’re starting to be bought up, so we are starting to see more people buying new,” he said. “I’m hoping we will have a good year. I think we will.”
Besides the 68 single-family construction permits issued last year, the city of Farmington also issued two commercial building permits. One was for the Farmington Mini Storage building, the other for the Pizza Man storage building.
In addition, Lewis said, the city issued 1,051 other types of permits in 2012. Of those, 827 were building permits for basement finishes, garages, roofs and so on; 109 were for plumbing projects like water softener or lawn irrigation projects; and 115 were mechanical permits for installation of furnaces, gas piping, fireplaces and the like.
Lewis reminds residents who are considering home improvement projects to contact the city before starting any kind of project. It is important to check whether a permit is needed, he said.
“Pull permits. It’s better to be safe than sorry. If they don’t know if they need a permit, they should call and ask. We’re here for their safety,” he said.
Lewis uses the number of Certificates of Occupancy to estimate the Farmington’s population growth. COs are issued by the city when a new home is completed in the community, which represents the time that the home is ready for someone to move into it. He multiplies the COs by 2.95, which is the average number of occupants in a Farmington dwelling unit, according to the 2010 Census.
At the end of 2011, Lewis had calculated Farmington’s population at 21,558. By Dec. 31, 2012, his calculations indicate the city’s population increased by 248, to approximately 21,806 residents.