Permits Paint Brighter Picture

If zoning permit activity is an indicator of economic vitality, then Warren County may be emerging from the 2008 recession.

The annual report of the Warren County Planning and Zoning Office was released to the Planning Commission on Tuesday. That report shows 295 permits issued in 2012.

County Planner Dan Glotz said that number is “up a little bit from pre-recession figures that we had. A lot of them have been smaller jobs.” The total amount of revenue generated decreased by approximately $1,000.

In total, including commercial development, new home construction activity and governmental and public service development, 2012 saw $5,236,727 in new construction value.

The commercial side accounted for $2,969,175 of the total. Among the higher ticket items was the Sheetz gas and convenience store that is coming to North Warren with construction value at $1,070,000. A well station in Clarendon Borough generated $750,000 in value and the showroom addition at Jones Chevrolet in Starbrick netted an additional $672,600.

More than $2.1 million of the total commercial development occurred in Conewango Township.

Seventeen permits were issued for new home construction in 2012. Four were issued in Conewango Township, two each in Columbus, Farmington and Pine Grove townships with one permit each in Eldred, Elk, Glade, Mead, Pleasant, Southwest townships and Sugar Grove Borough.

New home construction amounted to $2,217,52 in construction value, an average of $130,444.

Glade Township also put in an emergency generator with a $50,000 total value.

Those figures do not include new mobile homes, according to Glotz.

Commission member Paul Pascuzzi said that the permit total amounts to about one permit per work day.

One number that has not returned to pre-recession levels is the number of approved subdivisions.

In 2012, 60 were approved. Glotz said that, in the years prior to the recession, 80 to 100 would be approved annually.