City limits |

City limits

Twenty-six permits were issued for new homes last year, but it could be hard to reach that number this year.

Choices are limited for those who want to build a new home in Craig. No one seems to know the exact number of available, buildable lots within city limits, but the general consensus seems to be the number is low.

“We’re running out of them,” City Building Inspector Dave Costa said. “They’re very limited.”

That’s not to say there aren’t a lot of available lots, but the cost of developing them puts them out of reach for most home builders.

According to Costa, many platted lots have no infrastructure and others are on too steep a pitch to build.

“It makes it cost prohibitive to develop for residential purposes,” he said.

Yvonne Fredrickson, Realtor with Country Living Realty, said the lack of buildable lots is a reality but not alarming. She said most buyers are looking for existing homes, not vacant lots.

“It’s usually cheaper to buy existing,” she said. “There’s a few out there, but there’s not a huge demand for custom-built homes.”

The manufactured home market remains steady, Fredrickson said, and with that exists a need for vacant lots. An average of eight to 10 manufactured-home permits have been issued in each of the past three years.

There is a solution looming. Four subdivision requests are in Costa’s office — a total of 64 lots — awaiting city approval.

If approved, that number of lots should meet the need for about three years at the current growth rate.

“Once they’re accepted by the city and built, there will be lots of lots to choose from,” Cost said. “I would think we’d see more (building) activity if we had more of an inventory of buildable lots.”

The city’s current subdivision process requires developers to install sewer and water lines, utility services, streets, sidewalks and open space.

“Give it a year, and you’ll have some choices,” Costa said.

Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210 or

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