Permit data shows rise in building activity

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By Denyse Clark

The Catawba Regional Council of Governments (COG) recently released information about building permit trends in the tri-county region (Chester, Lancaster and York counties).

In Lancaster, single-family housing permits increased more than 33 percent in 2013 with 998 permits issued that year, compared to 747 in 2012.

Walnut Creek and Edgewater subdivisions, along with Carolina Reserve, were some of the issued permits.

Multi-family permits also saw a significant increase in 2013, with 15 permits issued, compared to just one in 2012. 

In 2013, 46 commercial permits were issued, compared to 26 in 2012. These included two churches, a medical office building and an animal hospital.

Steve Yeargin, interim building official/ICC certified plan examiner with the Lancaster County Building Department, explained more about where the residential and commercial growth has taken place.

“Residential has been very good, but we’ve had commercial (growth) too,” he said. “The majority of these were in Indian Land, but we’ve had some projects in the south like Fancy Pokket on Highway (S.C.) 9 and we expect more.”

In the county’s Panhandle, construction began in spring 2013 on the new 95,000-square-foot, $15.1 million Harrisburg Elementary School. Developers also broke ground late last year on The Enclave at Bailes Ridge, Indian Land’s first major upscale apartment complex.

The county saw a significant increase in mobile home permits last year, at 59, compared to seven issued permits in 2012, more than a 742 percent change from the prior year.

There were no industrial permits issued in Lancaster County in 2012 or 2013.  

Other counties

Chester County saw commercial permits increase from one in 2012 to three in 2013. Also, there was one industrial permit issued in 2013, compared to none in 2012. 

Chester County Building & Zoning Permit Clerk Sally Hudson said the permits there included Haddon House, as well as Outokumpu, a metal fabrication company, which made additions to existing structures. Coatex, which manufactures resins and coatings for products ranging from traffic paint to adhesives, added a warehouse.

There were no multi-family permits issued in either 2012 or 2013 and single-family permits decreased from 30 permits in 2012 to 28 last year. 

There were 12 mobile home permits issued in 2012, but this number increased to 15 permits in 2013.

York County showed a significant increase in the number of single-family permits issued between 2012 and 2013, the report said. There were 1,070 single-family permits issued in 2012 and 1,507 permits in 2013.

Multi-family permits in York County  decreased,while mobile home permits increased moderately during that same period, the report said.

In 2013, there were five multi-family permits issued compared to 12 permits during the prior year. However, there were 59 mobile home permits in 2013 compared to 52 the year before.

Commercial permit activity slowed in 2013 to only 44 permits, compared to 54 permits in 2012. There was also a decrease in industrial permits with only seven permits issued last year, compared to 11 permits in 2012.


Contact reporter Denyse Clark at (803) 283-1152