Higher value home permits being issued in Monticello

An increase in higher-value, single-family home permits was a key highlight in a Monticello Building Department of Building Safety report presented May 28.
Ron Hackenmueller, the city’s chief building and zoning official, reviewed rental ordinance and licensing activity, commercial, industrial and single-family home building valuations during his presentation at the start of Tuesday night’s Monticello City Council meeting. Overall, Hackenmueller had positive news to report.
The Monticello Building Department reviews all new construction and remodeling within the city and is responsible for administering the city’s rental, blight and nuisance ordinances. Hackenmueller and his staff work with the city departments such as planning and the community development team, he said.
Hackenmueller told council members city staff is currently working on changing its rental ordinance program application process to make it more user-friendly.
Monticello started its rental ordinance program in 2007, Hackenmueller said. The ordinance helps maintain the city’s housing stock.
Since May 1, the city has received about 20 new rental applications, pushing Monticello’s year-to-date total to nearly 330, Hackenmueller said, adding that total would present a slight increase.
Hackenmueller’s comparison of blight-related statistics from 2009 to 2012 showed a drop in the number of total properties mowed by the city’s contractor.
“We’re seeing a nice 2012 decrease,” he said, adding: “I think more bank-owned properties are finally getting purchased and are becoming privately owned.”
Across the board, commercial building valuations in 2009, 2010 and 2011 remained “fairly decent” Hackenmueller said, but dropped off a little bit during 2012.
“Industrial was very strong in 2011 and 2012; it might show a slight decrease this year,” he said. Single-family home permitting showed increases, he added.
Single–family homes permits reviewed last week included new single-family construction as well as decks, basement finishes, remodeling, shingling and siding.
“This year, we’ve issued 18 new single-family homes so far, with 11 in the planning review process,”  Hackenmueller said, “In the next couple of weeks, we’ll probably have 29 new single-family permits issued. That’s a nice increase.” Councilmember Glen Posusta asked Hackenmueller to attach a dollar figure to the single-family valuation information presented last Tuesday.  Hackenmueller said valuations ranged from $150,000 to $280,000, depending on the city location.
“That’s the structure value, not the lot,” Hackenmueller said. “It’s spread out. Sunset Ponds, Carlisle Village and Hunter’s Crossing have had good activity.”
Total building valuations were up again, Hackenmueller reported. This year, Monticello might hit the $14 million mark on the value of permits the city will issue.
“We had a heck of a May,” he said. “We might even be up around $6 million in single-family tonight. Permits are slightly down, but they are higher-value.”