Craig Taylor, building and code division, Department of Community Development, Rockmart, said that commercial and industrial growth is faring better than new housing starts. He believes this trend will continue in the near future.
During February, a total of 7 new building permits were issued, including one commercial, which had a property value of $80,512. Other activity included two sign and four other permits, such as an outbuilding.
Building history captured by Taylor revealed that 57 permits were issued in 2005. The number stabilized from 2006 to 2008 with the average being 39-41 per year. Three were issued through February 2009.
Meanwhile, Brian McCray, chief building inspector for Polk County, said a number of people are getting permits from his department.
“We are seeing a lot of mobile home and additions requests,” he said.
McCray said some custom homes are being built but not spec houses. “I don’t expect any activity on spec homes until the economy improves,” he added.
There are no current subdivision developments in the county, according to the building inspector.
He said most residents now want a custom home so they can design it like they want and have a builder erect it. With a spec house, the design and plans are decided. The structure is built and then set up for sale.
Due to the slow economy, McCray has seen inspections drop from eight to 10 per week to five or more.
To get a building permit in Polk, an individual is required to have a copy of the deed of no less than an acre of land with 125 feet of road frontage. They also must have a soil analysis done, health department letter and copy of blue prints of the house they plan to build.
In addition, the property owner would need a letter from the Polk County Water Department noting that there is enough space for another home on the road that can be tapped into the water line.
The biggest challenge for McCray is getting everyone on the same page while the building is going up.
“I must help them understand that my job reflects not only on them but also the homeowner,” he said. “I inspect every house as if it were my own.”
Burney Collins, Aragon, is on McCray’s list for temporary assistance when it is needed.
McCray also works with and coordinates projects with building inspectors in Rockmart and Cedartown.