AUBURN — Building permits in Auburn for 2017 didn’t quite match the record set the year before.
That’s not to say the city’s Department of Building, Planning and Development had an easy time, as Administrator Amy Schweitzer explained in her annual report to the Auburn Common Council at Tuesday’s meeting.
The department issued 1,258 permits, the city’s second-highest total ever, behind the 1,329 issued in 2016.
The reported value for the permits soared over the previous year, however, with projects worth more than $39 million, more than a 50 percent increase from $25 million in 2016.
The total was boosted by large-scale, non-residential projects such as Aldi, Auburn City Steakhouse, the DeKalb County Council on Aging’s garage for DeKalb Area Rural Transit (DART) vehicles, renovations and expansion at First United Methodist Church and the new home for Jeremiah’s Brewed Awakenings.
Schweitzer pointed out that the investment was fairly balanced among three major land-use sectors, with $16 million in residential improvements, $12.5 million for institutional and $11 million for commercial.
She provided statistics that showed residential investment was far and away the highest in ’16 at nearly $18 million, and institutional had the highest total the year before at about $19 million, largely due to the McKenney-Harrison Elementary School construction project.
Residential permits also fell off the record pace, with 72 issued for dwelling units in 2017 compared to 104 the previous year. Following the overall trend, the value of single-family units went up, with the average cost climbing 17 percent to $236,000. Fewer entry-level homes were built in 2017, Schweitzer said.
Schweitzer said her department set a goal for 2017 to be more vigilant about excavation permits in rights of way and increased permits by 79 percent.
“The street department requested that we do that, because they were having a lot of work on their curbs and not knowing about it till after it was done,” Schweitzer said.