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Jul 28

Continued Growth in Land Development Activity

Posted on July 28, 2017 at 2:38 pm by Meghan Revolinsky

By: Arlinda Heineck

Land development activity has been robust over the last several years and is continuing to grow. Planning and land use entitlement applications are up 8.6 percent for the January to June 2017 time period as compared to an average of the prior three years. But the numbers alone do not tell the full story since all applications are not equal. Many of the current applications include large scale and complicated residential, commercial and mixed use projects which demand a high level of planning expertise, focus and time. The good news is that the continued interest in development is in part driven by the City Council’s successful adoption of the Housing Element, Specific Plan and General Plan.

The Building Division is juggling similar demands. Although the number of issued permits has remained relatively stable over the past three years, this does not speak to the level of complexity of the projects in plan check and inspection. A more accurate indication is the value of the work. Comparing the January to June 2017 period with the average of the previous three years, the valuation of construction projects has jumped 370 percent with the average valuation per permit at almost 3.5 times higher than in 2016. As can be imagined, higher valued projects are more intricate and time consuming than a series of smaller projects.

The Community Development Department recognizes that staff resources are strained and is continuing to look for options to meet the development needs.

Continued Growth in Land Development Activity