Kamloops City Handed Out $191-million Worth of Building Permits in 2010

This article was written by Jeremy Deutsch and appeared in Kamloops This Week on January 7th, 2011.

It wasn’t a record, but it was pretty close. By the end of 2010, the city had handed out $191-million worth of building permits, eclipsing 2009’s total of $160 million by more than $30 million.

The city had originally estimated between $120 and $140 million worth of building permits to be taken out in 2010. “It’s a lot better year than we thought,” said David Trawin, the city’s director of development and engineering, adding Kamloops is doing “exceptionally well” compared to other communities in the province.

He attributed the growth in 2010 to a rise in the amount of residential construction around Kamloops, particularly single-family units. The number of residential permits — which includes single-family and multi-family units for 2010 — jumped to 660 from 430 in 2009. Of those residential permits, 300 were for single-family units, more than double 2009 totals.

It was such a busy year at city hall, there is extra money for city council to consider during upcoming budget discussions.

The development and engineering department built up an operating surplus of $1 million from the unexpected boost in construction. Trawin said it will be up to council to to decide what it wants to do with the extra cash.

The city is also taking another conservative approach to its estimates for 2011. Trawin said he expects his department to hand out between $120- and $130-million in building permits. He said the prediction is based on discussions with builders in the city, but noted that number could be larger if a couple of big potential projects come through this year.

However, Trawin wouldn’t divulge the details of the potential developments.

The city has only topped $200 million in permits once — in 2008. In that year, the city doled out $207 million worth of permits, which was a record. Before the beginning of summer, the city handed out $222.5 million in permits for 883 dwelling units in a 12-month period. That proved to be a record.