Belchertown single-family building permits nearly doubled in 2013, financial crisis opened door for land preservation Reply

The number of single-family building permits nearly doubled in 2013 when compared to 2012.

The number of single-family building permits nearly doubled in 2013 when compared to 2012.

Belchertown building permits for single-family homes nearly doubled in 2013 when compared to the previous year, according the town’s building inspector’s office. 

There were 30 single-family building permits pulled in 2013.  In 2012, there were 17 single-family building permits pulled. 

Prior to the financial crisis, Belchertown was one of the fastest growing communities in the commonwealth.  Belchertown Town Planner Douglas Albertson said recently in a Daily Hampshire Gazette article that the town averaged 95 to 100 new houses per year from 1976 to 2008.  

There were only 13 single-family building permits pulled in 2008.   

The slump has also benefitted land conservation, according The Gazette article.  It has allowed Belchertown’s Conservation Administrator Leeanne Connolly to spend less time evaluating building permit applications as part of her duty to enforce the Wetland Protection Act to spending more time navigating the process to preserve open space and natural resources.  Hundreds of acres have been preserved in town.

Belchertown also became designated as a Green Community under the commonwealth’s Green Communities Act since the financial crisis, which included the adoption of a more energy efficient building code known as the Stretch Code. 

I like to keep track of the number of single-family building permits because it is a good measure of the recovery.  

This chart shows the number of building permits that have been pulled for every year during the last 10 years:

Year

Single-family building permits

2013

30

2012

17

2011

15

2010

32

2009

22

2008

13

2007

54

2006

54

2005

89

2004

100

If you are planning on buying or selling a home in the Pioneer Valley, make your first call to Michael Seward at 413-531-7129. Michael Seward is a Certified Residential Specialist, a Certified Buyers Agent, a Certified Loss Mitigation Specialist, a Certified New Homes Specialist, and Green designee of the National Association of REALTORS®.

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