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Building permits rush is on in Jefferson County

December 12, 2003|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - The number of building permits being issued in Jefferson County has quadrupled this month over the same period last year, a trend county planning officials are attributing to a rush by housing developers to get permits approved before school impact fees kick in next month, county officials said Thursday.

Last December, 22 building permits were issued to builders, said Paul Raco, director of the Jefferson County Department of Planning, Zoning and Engineering.

About 84 permits have been issued so far this month and the month is only about halfway over, Raco and other officials said Thursday.

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Housing developers submit plans for their housing developments when they get permits.

"The larger developers are bringing them in batches," Jefferson County Commissioner Rusty Morgan said.

Commissioner Greg Corliss said planners are concerned that builders may get permits for one type of home and make substantial changes to the houses later.

Raco suggested that building permits be revoked if developers later make substantial changes to homes for which they already have received permits. The builder then would have to obtain a new permit under Raco's plan.

After some commissioners expressed concern about Raco's proposal, the commissioners agreed to instead study the possibility of increasing fees for developers who later change the plans for new houses, Corliss said.

The money from the increased fees would be used to help offset the cost of extra work put in by planning, zoning and engineering department staff to review new housing plans, Corliss said.

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