Local Economy Looking UP!

Although far less affected than some areas of the country, Murfreesboro has felt, if slightly, the effects of what some have called the worst recession since the Great Depression.

However, from the comprehensive 2012 Year End Building Construction Activity Report published each year by Murfreesboro Planning Director Joseph Aydelott, the local economy seems to be turning around.

Planning Director Upbeat!

“Economic recovery appears to be underway as evidenced by the number of items submitted for plans review and inclusion on the Planning Commission’s agenda,” Aydelott said. “For the past several months there have been considerably more items each month than there were during the early part of 2012 and all of 2011, 2010, and 2009.

“Year-end reports show that the year ended with considerably more permits issued for construction in 2012 than for 2011.”

Two Statistics Stuck Out

“Total valuation of construction in 2012 was $378,015,974,” Aydelott wrote, “which was an increase ($175,917,827) over the 2011 valuation of $202,098,147.”

Many real estate experts believe the inventory of available lots for housing is one measure of a community’s economic health. From a high in 2008 of 2,237, lots available had dropped by nearly 1,000 to 1,254 in 2012, dropping 268 of those in just one year from 2011 to 2012.

Describing the report, the director wrote “Much of this information is compiled from computer-generated year-end reports and is helpful in gaining insight into how much the City has grown during the past year and how it is poised for future growth.”

During calendar year 2012, Murfreesboro Planning Commission and Planning, Engineering and Traffic staff reviewed 26 preliminary plats and gave preliminary approval to subdivisions with 311 lots.

Sixty-two final plats were reviewed and final approval given to 389 lots, planning commission and planning staff reviewed 119 site plans and during the year there were 28 applications for rezoning, five annexation studies, 10 ordinance amendments and three Rights of Way actions.

During 2012, the planning commission held 23 regular meetings during which it conducted 47 public hearings.

The Murfreesboro Board of Zoning Appeals conducted 67 public hearings to consider 10 applications for variances from the sign ordinance, 22 for setback or bulk variances, one application for a parking variance, 40 for special use permits, three special use permit amendments and one weeds and grass exemption request.

The building and codes department issued 3,281 electrical permits during 2012 and 536 single-family residences and 464 multiple family units totaling 1,000 dwelling units, This was slightly over twice that of 2011 when 408 permits were issued for single-family, multi-family and hotel/motel units.

The construction board of adjustments and appeals met seven times during 2012 and heard 20 requests for variances from building and codes requirements or to modify an order from the chief building official. Also during the year, the Murfreesboro Historic Zoning Commission met eight times to review eight applications for Certificates of Appropriateness, one of which was denied. There were three administrative approvals for Certificates of Appropriateness and the commission held one special meeting.

As expected of the City’s diligent staff, all members of the planning commission, board of zoning appeals and professional staff earned education credits as required by Public Chapter 862.

For more information, please call the Murfreesboro Planning and Engineering Department at 615-893-6441 or the entire report is available on the City’s website at www.murfreesborotn.gov/planning.

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