Archive for Thursday, July 31, 2003

Building permits fluctuating in area cities

July 31, 2003

Two of the fastest growing cities in Kansas are at opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to building permits issued thus far in 2003, according to figures released by the Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City.

According to the figures, from January to June 2002, 53 single-family building permits were issued in Basehor. In that same six-month period in 2003, just 33 permits have been issued, a 38 percent decrease from the previous year.

By contrast, Tonganoxie showed a 50 percent increase, with 20 permits issued from January to June last year, compared against the 30 issued so far this year.

The city of Lansing showed the largest increase among Leavenworth County cities, 19 to 45 permits, for a 137 percent increase from last year. The city of Leavenworth dipped nine percent, from 34 to 31 permits issued.

Leavenworth County, overall, is down 1 percent from last year.

Although the county numbers indicate a decrease, Mike Hooper, Basehor city codes administrator, said Basehor is experiencing anything but a lull in residential development.

The county decrease can be attributed to developers beating the July 1 excise tax deadline, he said. The excise tax is a 9-cents-per-square-foot fee applied to new developments in Basehor.

"On July 1 of last year, the excise tax went into effect," Hooper said. "A lot of developers got their permits early so they could avoid paying the excise tax."

The excise tax hasn't slowed development, city officials contend.

Evidence of this lies in the number of new projects being proposed such as Creek Ridge, a residential development including 25 to 30 single family homes, located on the south side of Parallel between 155th and 158th streets, and Pinehurst (see related story, Page 12A) a development which will also entail 25 to 30 single-family homes.

"Next year, I doubt you'll see a decrease, especially if some of those developments and Falcon Lakes (a 550-home development) can take off," Hooper said.

Tonganoxie city administrator Shane Krull said the increase his city is experiencing is a result of several subdivisions moving forward in phases.

"Last year, there was a little bit of a lull," Krull said. "People were running out of lots."

Tonganoxie developments such as South Park, Stone Creek and Eagle Valley have all began moving forward in the development phase, Krull said.

"This year, there's been quite a bit of growth," he said.

Recent census numbers indicate Basehor and Tonganoxie are the fifth- and third-fastest growing cities, respectively, in Kansas.

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