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1/17/2013 New dwelling permits totaled 51 in 2012, a 17 percent drop

The number of new dwelling permits issued in 2012 was down around 17 percent as compared to the previous year according to the Custer County Building and Zoning Office.

The total number of zoning permits issued for new home construction last year was 51 as compared to 62 in 2011.

Since 2002 when an all-time high of 134 new dwelling permits were issued, new housing starts have been waning. The average number of new homes built from 1994 to 2000 was around 100 a year.

Other zoning permits issued in the county in 2012, which include home additions, sheds, garages, barns, septics and home occupancy among others, was 228 as compared to 224 in 2011, a slight jump.

The dollars the county zoning office took in as a result of all permits issued in 2012 was $128,654.38, a downturn from 2011’s $140,119.66. Permit fees are based on the overall cost of each project.

The dollars collected go into the county’s general fund.

Custer County Planning and Zoning Office director Jackie Hobby said she hopes the number of county building permits issued doesn’t continue on a downward turn, however, she doesn’t think 2013 is going to be much better than 2012.

Hobby attributes the downturn to the overall economy. “People keep waiting for the economy to turn before they build,” said Hobby.

Hobby reminds folks that zoning permits are required in Custer County prior to any type of construction.

She also recommends that persons check with the zoning office before starting any construction, including excavation.

Persons must also obtain a permit prior to the construction of a septic system. – Nora Drenner