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Grant Co. development remains active

by CHERYL SCHWEIZER
Staff Writer | September 8, 2022 1:25 AM

EPHRATA — Building development in the unincorporated areas of Grant County through the end of August is a little slower than it was through the same period in 2021, but is still fairly lively, according to county officials.

“(Development) is still going strong, not only in the county but our partner cities, too,” Grant County Director of Development Services Chris Young said.

The development services department provides a monthly update of building permit applications in the unincorporated areas, which Young presented to the Grant County Commissioners Tuesday. As of the end of August 2022, the county had received 144 applications for new residences in unincorporated areas. That compared to 181 applications in the same period in 2021.

The report showed some variations in the number of applications received each month, compared year over year. There were 27 residential construction permit applications submitted in March 2022, compared to 21 in March 2021. There were 14 submitted in April 2022, compared to 27 in April 2021.

“It’s ebbing and flowing, but I wouldn’t call it down,” Young said.

When counting both homes and commercial development, Grant County had received 566 building permit applications in the first eight months of 2022, compared to 741 in the same period last year.

Whether it’s homes or residences, people are building throughout Grant County, Young said.

“Our building inspectors go from Grand Coulee to Mattawa, and in between, daily. So (development) is all over the place,” he said.

December 2021 saw a surge in building applications, Young said, due to changes in building codes covering energy efficiency that were supposed to go into effect in January.

Young said the trending application data indicates 2022 could end with as much building activity as 2021.

“In the year-to-date average, we’re at 71% of last year’s number and we still have four months to go before the end of the year,” Young said. “I think (development) is going to be strong.”

A permit issued in one year doesn’t mean the building will be constructed in that year, he said. A project that receives a building permit in the fall might be delayed until the following spring due to weather conditions.

“We do have some potentially large projects,” Young said.

Some of those projects are still in the planning stages and aren’t ready for permits yet, he said.

Cheryl Schweizer may be reached at cschweizer@columbiabasinherald.com. Find more news by downloading the Columbia Basin Herald app - available for iOS and Android.

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