By Mike Moore
3:00 PM EDT, October 3, 2012
There was a lot of building going on in 2007, but when the economy tanked, the city of Nicholasville saw a sharp decline in building permits, according to the city’s annual Report to the Community.
“New home and business construction permits, a major indicator of a community’s growth, declined by 48 percent from 2007 to 2011,” according to the report.
In 2007, the city issued 402 building permits, including 172 for residential construction and 22 for business structures.
From there, the total dropped to 288 in 2008; 240 in 2009; 204 in 2010 and 211 in 2011. Through the first six months of 2012, the city has issued 162 permits.
Nicholasville building and zoning supervisor Dean Anness said figures from structures such as backyard sheds and decks are included under the residential category.
“To build anything that is structural would require a permit within the city,” Anness said. “Also, because of utilities and easements, we need to know the location of these buildings.”
While the numbers have been sluggish since 2007, Anness sees a possible break to that trend.
“We’ve got a big development going on in Brannon (Crossing); a multi-family development,” Anness said. “It’s around 100 units. That got approved, and they’re already starting construction. Hopefully those will be selling and they will go on with them and that will create a rise in the permit numbers.”
It’s a more positive outlook on the commercial side, and Anness hopes that will corollate into better residential numbers.
“We’ve seen an increase in commercial activity, which is a good sign,” he said in the report. “As jobs increase, hopefully the residential permits wil begin to rise again, too.”
Anness cited Culver’s restaurant, which is planning to locate a store in Nicholasville, as an example of commercial permit growth.
The project is in the due-diligence phase and has been presented to the Nicholasville Planning Commission for its consideration.
“I can’t say it’s (building permits) going to turn the corner; it’s an election year, so who knows?” Anness said. “On the commercial side, of course, people have to eat, and most people eat out these days, and it seems like the commercial goes on, expecially the big box chains.”
In the report to the community, Anness said Nicholasville is appealing to many corporations.
“All of the corporate representatives we talk to who are looking for new business locations love this city,” he said. “Location experts track businesses in this area and know they are very successful.”
Building a shed or deck? Get a permit
Anness said his office has seen many cases where residents decide to build a shed or deck on their property without going through the permit process. And often times, once their project is completed, the resident has to tear it down because they built on an easement.
“We don’t want somebody to tear something down because they built it in the wrong place,” he said. “There are a lot of times when we will go and check the building and realize there is no permit. We stop them as soon as we realize it and try to get them lined out.”
Anness said structures built since the city’s zoning regulations were put into place have site plans for residents to view.
“Anything from 1980 to present day, we’ve got the actual site plan on file (at the planning and zoning office) where you could just make a copy and draw a footprint of your proposed building on that site plan to show us the location, so we can check it for easements,” Anness said. “Once we’ve determined that it is outside the easements, you would submit plans.”