County permit count for this fiscal year continues to climb, with total through May at 28,925

North County ahead of South County in total number of single-family dwelling unit permits issued

These charts are among those that County Administrator Jonathan Lewis emailed the commissioners on June 6. ‘YTD’ stands for year to-date. Image courtesy Sarasota County

During the Sarasota County Commission’s May 25 budget workshop, County Administrator Jonathan Lewis took a few minutes to emphasize just how busy the county’s Planning and Development Services Department has been this fiscal year, based on the number of permits it has issued.

Staff anticipates the potential that the county will set a new record this year, he pointed out, topping the figure for the 2021 fiscal year.

Through March, Lewis noted, Planning and Development personnel had issued 21,122 permits, which was just a bit below the March 2021 total of 21,310.

Early this month, Lewis forwarded to the commissioners the latest data, provided by Matt Osterhoudt, director of the Planning and Development Services Department. From the start of this fiscal year — Oct. 1, 2021 — through May 31, a bar graph showed, 28,925 permits had been issued. For the same eight months of the 2021 fiscal year, the bar graph said, 29,838 permits were issued.

For the entire 2021 fiscal year, the total was about 46,000, a chart indicated.

This fiscal year’s issuance of commercial construction permits is more than three times higher through May than the figure through May 2021, another set of bar graphs showed. Between Oct. 1, 2021 and May 31, staff had issued 762 of those permits, compared to 214 for the same period of the 2021 fiscal year.

These graphs provide details about the number of permits issued each month and the value of the construction they represent. Image courtesy Sarasota County

Additionally, during the May budget workshop, Lewis pointed out that the 2021 fiscal year set the record for the number of permits issued for the construction of single-family homes. That was 2,908.

A second bar graph that he forwarded to the board members on June 6 showed that, through May 31, Planning and Development personnel had issued 1,717 permits for single-family dwelling units. That compared to 1,845 through the first eight months of the 2021 fiscal year.

Another chart put the total for the 2019 fiscal year — before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic — at approximately 1,800. Even with the pandemic underway, that chart showed the total for the 2020 fiscal year was about 2,000 permits.

Yet a third graphic showed that the highest number of permits for single-family dwelling units issued in one month this fiscal year was 243, in May, which was down from 290 in May 2021. The latter total was the best for the first eight months of the 2021 fiscal year.

In April of this year, the figure was 235; no change from the total for April 2021.

Staff also provided bar graphs comparing the number of permits issued for single-family dwelling units in North County and South County. North County has led the way each month except April, when 120 of those permits were issued in South County, compared to 115 in North County, the graphs showed.

The second best month so far for South County was May, with 95.

This graph compares single-family dwelling unit (SFDU) permits issued for North County with those issued for South County. Image courtesy Sarasota County

The largest number in North County for any of the first eight months was 157, recorded in October 2021, the bar graphs noted. That month, 73 South County permits were issued for single-family dwelling units.

Yet another graph in the June 6 email showed the total number of permits issued per month this fiscal year and the value of construction each figure represented. March hit the highest mark thus far, that graph made clear: 4,193 permits were issued. In May, the figure was 4,006.

However, the month with the highest value of permits issued was December 2021: $211 million. October 2021 saw 3,747 permits issued with a construction value of $192 million, the chart said. May was in third place, with a value of $176 million, barely edging out April’s total of $175 million.

This graph shows details about building inspections. Image courtesy Sarasota County

Additionally, Lewis talked in late May about the number of inspections county staff has performed since the start of this fiscal year, noting the expectation that another county record could be set. The charts he forwarded to the commissioners on June 3 showed the totals by month since October 2021. Through May, staff has handled 14,305 inspections this year; the comparable figure for 2021 was 12,570. The May number is 9% higher.

The month with the highest number of inspections so far was March, when the count hit 15,815, another graph said. For the first eight months of the 2021 fiscal year, March also had the largest total: 13,954.

This graph provides information about applications for new development in the county. ‘DS’ stands for Development Services. ‘FYTD’ stands for fiscal year to-date, while ‘PYTD’ stands for prior year to-date. Image courtesy Sarasota County

Finally, the data Lewis provided the commissioners this month showed that Planning and Development has taken in 90 applications for new developments through May of this fiscal year. That was up 25%, compared to the total of 72 for the same period of the 2021 fiscal year.

Moreover, graphics said that resubmittals of development applications through May added up to 131 for this fiscal year. That was 20% higher than the 109 accepted for the same eight months of FY 2021.

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