County, towns report brisk building numbers
By the numbers
62: Gypsum new-home building permit numbers issued year to date.
70: Gypsum new-home building permits issued in 2014.
56: Eagle County new-home building permits issued through June 30.
33: County new-home building permits for the same period in 2014.
Sources: Town of Gypsum, Eagle County
EAGLE COUNTY — If you think you’ve seen more construction trucks on the roads this year, you’re right. While building activity in Vail proper is about on pace with 2014, new home building permits in much of the rest of the county are on pace to far exceed numbers recorded last year.
The biggest jump may be in Gypsum. There, town officials have already issued 62 building permits for new residences, compared to 70 such permits issued in all of 2014.
Gypsum ‘REALLY BUSY WITH CONSTRUCTION’
“We’ve been really busy with construction this year,” said Stephanie Roybal, of the town of Gypsum’s building department.
Much of that activity has been split between two locations. The first is Hawk’s Nest at the Buckhorn Valley subdivision south of the Eagle County Regional Airport. The Village at Cotton Ranch is also active. The Village at Cotton Ranch, near the golf course and south of Vicksburg Lane in the older part of town, is zoned for multi-family units such as duplexes and condos. Several buildings are under construction there.
In addition to the residential projects, an O’Reilly Auto Parts store along U.S. Highway 6 is well on its way to completion. Roybal said there are plans nearly complete for a Subway restaurant near Bella’s Market. That project was supposed to break ground in the spring of this year, Roybal said, but final details aren’t yet finished.
Building in Avon
In Avon, building permits of all types are on pace to slightly exceed the numbers recorded in 2014. Last year, town officials issued 156 permits of all types. Through the first half of 2015, 87 permits have been issued.
Permit fees collected in Avon look ready to far exceed 2014’s figures, though. Through all of 2014, the town collected $276,000.
Residential building is also on a significant upswing in unincorporated Eagle County.
Vance Gabossi, Eagle County’s chief building official, said 18 new home permits were issued in June of this year, compared to 12 for the same period in 2014. For the first six months of this year, 56 new home permits have been issued in Eagle County, compared to 33 for the same period in 2014.
Again, though, the fees collected — many of which are based on the value of a project — are poised to far exceed the 2014 numbers. This year, the county has collected $314,000 in fees to check building plans. For all of 2014, the county collected just less than $437,000 for that work.
Gabossi said the residential activity is in virtually every part of the county.
“We have homes being built in El Jebel, Cordillera, Arrowhead, Singletree … just about everywhere,” Gabossi said.
The residential activity — combined with myriad other permits for various renovations, repairs and other projects — is keeping staff busy at the county. Gabossi is also a certified building inspector, so field work usually keeps him out of the office until early afternoon. That means other people in the office are working on examining plans and similar work.
Gabossi said the county has two full-time plan examiners and another staff member with experience is pitching in.
“We’re kind of getting caught up at this point,” Gabossi said.
During a building boom in the 1990s, the county’s community development department ended up so far behind on its work that an outside company was hired to help staffers get caught up. During that stretch, the joke around the building industry was that the department had changed its name to “community development — please hold,” since that was the usual phone greeting.
That isn’t going to happen this time, Gabossi said.
“We’re not at the stage we have to hire outside help,” he said. “We’ll try to deal with it in house. Everybody’s got to pitch in for this.”
Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930, firstname.lastname@example.org and @scottnmiller.