BERLIN – A record number of permits and nearly double the number of new homes built over last year have kept the town’s planning department busy in 2019.
Berlin Planning Director Dave Engelhart said this week his department had permitted 10 new single-family homes and issued a total of 236 permits so far this calendar year.
“I think it’s a function of the economy,” Engelhart said.
Engelhart, who with permit coordinator Carolyn Duffy makes up the entire planning department, says they’ve been kept busy this year. Engelhart said permits issued were up 21% over last year. While permits are issued for a variety of projects, ranging from fence construction to sign installation, Engelhart said the increase didn’t come in any specific area.
“They’ve been across the board,” he said.
Ten new single-family homes were permitted in Berlin this year. There were six new homes built in 2018 and six built in 2017.
“Things have been busy,” Engelhart said. “Where there are lots, people are building on them.”
Aside from developments such as Purnell Crossing and Walnut Hill that have lots available, there are few vacant lots left in town.
“There’s not an overabundance of lots remaining,” Engelhart said.
As far as new commercial buildings, one was approved for Main Place while another, a mixed-use building, was approved for Stevenson Lane. I.G. Burton Jeep got a permit for two additions to its current building and the ongoing renovation/remodeling project at Atlantic General Hospital continues.
Engelhart said he believes construction is active in Berlin because the town has the sewer capacity for new development.
“I think we continue to be a destination, even a target, for development because we have the water and wastewater capacity other places don’t,” Engelhart said.