by Lisa Tome
The half year numbers are in and it's not looking good.
New home construction in Cecil continues its decline.
In the last fiscal year, less than half the number of permits were issued as were five years ago.
In fiscal year 2011, 198 single family dwelling permits were issued. In 2013, there were 160. Fiscal year 2013 crept up slightly with 188. In fiscal year 2014, there were 132 issued. The year that ended June 30, 2016, which was fiscal year 2015, there were 94 issued.
"The numbers continue to drop," said Patrick Conway, county director of Permits and Inspections.
This time last year, 58 single family home permits had been issued. This year, there have been 39. "We're not doing better. It's far worse. And there are a large number of dwellings on the market," said Conway.
But home improvement permits continue to climb. In the current fiscal year, 383 improvement permits have been issued. Last year, during the same time, 323 were issued for improvements. The scope of improvements include finishing basements, solar, additions to increase the size of rooms, pools, hot tubs and more.
"Solar continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Solar is big," said Conway. Homeowners are also building garages and car ports.
In other business from the Department of Permits and Inspections:
• The former home of Chesapeake Wine and Spirits on Augustine Herman Highway, South Chesapeake City, has gotten a makeover. The building has been renovated to make way for Gideon Weavers weave shop. The building has new trusses, windows and more. The shop is relocating to this location from Chesapeake City. The liquor license was transferred to Maria's also in South Chesapeake City.
• Sunmed Growers, LLC, submitted plans for the greenhouse for the cannabis growing operation in Warwick. The plans show a 63,000 square foot greenhouse.