Number of new project applications received trending lower
In late May, as the Sarasota County commissioners engaged in a budget workshop, County Administrator Jonathan Lewis told them that data collected through March showed that the Planning and Development Services Department appeared to be heading toward more new records in regard to permits issued.
The latest data from Planning and Development underscore Lewis’ remarks.
Through July — with two more months remaining in this fiscal year — staff had issued 47,674 permits. That exceeds the approximately 46,500 total in the 2021 fiscal year, which was the highest ever for the county, going back to the 2004 fiscal year, as shown in a report that Matt Osterhoudt, director of Planning and Development, sent to the county commissioners.
Through July of the 2022 fiscal year, the number of permits issued was 36,768, a graph shows. The total through July of this year is 30% higher, the graph noted.
However, the number of permits issued through July of this fiscal year for single-family homes is continuing a lower trend that Lewis also noted in May. That number through July was 1,477.
Through July of the 2022 fiscal year, the number of single-family home permits issued was 2,149, a graph shows; the comparable figure for this fiscal year is 31% lower than that.
The county’s record for those permits also came in 2021, when the count was approximately 2,910. In the 2022 fiscal year, the number ended up being about 2,450, a graph shows.
In 2005, during the housing boom prior to the Great Recession, the total number of single-family home permits county staff issued was approximately 2,150.
With the economic downturn underway during the 2009 fiscal year, county staff issued only about 270 single-family home permits, the graph shows.
Through July of this fiscal year, the report notes, March saw the largest number of total permits issued: 5,661. June was the month with the second highest total — 5,160 — followed closely by May, with 5,155.
The largest total construction value for permits in a given month since the Oct. 1, 2022 start of the fiscal year was marked in June: $350 million, the graph said.
While October 2022 saw the lowest number of permits issued through July of this fiscal year, those carried the second highest construction value — $283 million.
The largest number of single-family home permits issued this fiscal year thus far was marked in May: 234. June saw the second highest number: 208. The largest construction value for those permits also was recorded in May: $96 million.
Although 196 such permits were issued in July, they represented $85 million in construction value, the graph says, for the second biggest total so far this fiscal year.
Yet another graph shows that North County is well ahead of South County in the number of single-family home permits issued. In May, for example, 154 of the permits were for North County projects, compared to 80 for South County. In March, the North County figure was 133, compared to 67 for South County. The highest figure for South County came in June: 100.
As for multi-family housing construction this fiscal year: The total number of permits issued through July was 1,400, slightly below the figure for single-family home construction. No multi-family construction permits were issued in April or May, a graph indicates. The largest number recorded was in December 2022: 341.
A relevant bar graph shows that, between the 2018 and 2022 fiscal years, by far the largest number of dwelling units approved through rezoning petitions came in FY 2021. The number was 6,058. The fiscal year with the second largest total was 2019, with 2,902. The figure was only 367 in FY 2020.
In regard to commercial permits: The total through July was 1,589, which was 57% higher than the 1,010 total through July 2022.
The construction value of those permits hit a monthly high of $150 million in October 2022, though only 127 permits were issued.
Finally, Lewis also was on target in May when he told the commissioners that it appeared that the county would set a new record for inspections this fiscal year. Through July, the total was 14,989, which was up 18%, compared to the 13,966 done through July 2022.
Yet one other graph shows that the number of new project applications that Planning and Development has received thus far this fiscal year is trending lower than the total for the prior fiscal year. Through July, the count was 91, compared to 106 through July 2022.