Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Fairfield will issue something like 900 permits for detached homes this year

Article Last Updated: Wednesday, Mar 09, 2005 - 12:40:16 am PST

Construction growth 'typical' for the season

By Matthew Bunk


FAIRFIELD - It's been a slow year so far for commercial construction, although a rise in single-family homes seem to be filling the building gap, according to a monthly report from Fairfield's building division.

On the commercial front, there's no need to worry, said Fairfield building official Tom Garcia. The slowdown is typical for the early part of the year and not unusual considering recent rainy weather, he said.

As for home construction, Fairfield is a little ways ahead of normal stride, judging from the number of building permits issued in previous years.

"Since the late 1990s, the number of permits for single-family homes has steadily increased," he said. "And this is probably going to be a typical year."

If that's the case, Fairfield will issue something like 900 permits for detached homes this year. Through the end of February, the city issued 128.

No apartment permits were issued in the first two months of the year.

Only one commercial building permit was issued in the first two months of the year, compared to eight permits handed out during the same period last year. Even permits for categories such as commercial alterations, additions and repairs were down to about half of last year's totals.

The rainy season hampers commercial construction more than residential construction, Garcia said. Wet ground makes it harder to prepare for a commercial project because of additional permit requirements, he said.

On average, Fairfield issues about 30 permits a year for new commercial buildings. Though behind at this point, Garcia expects to hit that mark again this year.

"There are several commercial projects in the plan-check stage right now, so it will probably balance out over the year," he said.

Residential construction, despite the abundance of rain this year, is up. Because slowing down hurts profits, many home builders are trying to keep up production levels through the adverse weather, Garcia said.

"If it rains for five days straight or something like that, then they have to wait for the ground to dry," he said. "But unless it's really soft, they're trying to build right through it."

Reach Matthew Bunk at 425-4646 Ext. 267 or

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