ALBION — The number of building permits issued by Noble County government rose in 2011, according to two departments of that government.
Not only did the number of overall permits increase, but there were more permits issued for new home construction, the Noble County Building Department’s annual report said.
If you want to go where the most construction activity is in the county, look to the south central area, the annual report of the Noble County Plan Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals said. Their combined report was issued through the Noble County Planning Department.
The reasons for the increase there actually include a bad economy and sewer bills, the Noble County building inspector said.
The county issued 399 permits of all kinds in 2011, up from 370 the year before, the building department said. The 2011 permits were valued at $13.5 million. The value of all permits issued in 2010 combined was $11.0 million.
The building and planning departments both showed that 40 of the 2011 permits were for new conventional homes, and another five were for new manufactured homes.
The conventional homes were up from 29 permitted in 2010, the planning department said. There were fewer manufactured home permits issued last year, since there were seven in 2010.
Conventional home permits issued in 2011 were valued at $6.2 million, the building department said. Manufactured home permits for the same period were valued at $175,000.
The 2010 value totals for conventional and manufactured homes were, respectively, $4.9 million and $496,100, the building department said.
The new housing construction permit totals were the highest since 2008, when there were 36 conventional homes and nine manufactured homes permitted, the planning department said. The conventional home total was the highest since 2007, when there were 61 permitted.
The overall growth was because of people tearing down existing homes and building new ones on the same property, said county building inspector Richard Adair.
Noble County planning director Steve Kirkpatrick agreed. “We did experience some tear down and rebuilding of homes, especially around the lakes, mostly in Noble Township,” he said.
“It’s a trend that goes with a down economy,” Adair said. “People try to be more energy efficient.” Newer products can make it far more cost-efficient from an energy standpoint to tear down an existing house and build a new one, he said.
Also, a few homes had fire damage and had to be demolished, Adair said.
The township with the most growth in 2011 was Noble Township, which saw 11 permits for new housing — nine for conventional homes and two for manufactured, the planning department said.
That was in part because people were taking down lake cottages and putting in year-round homes, Adair said. There reason for doing that may have been the installation of sewers around the lakes in that area.
“Since they’re paying a sewer bill year-round, they want to live there year-round,” Adair said.
Every township in Noble County had at least one new home construction permit issued last year, the planning department said. The last time that was true was 2008.
Allen, Perry, Sparta and Wayne townships each had only one new housing construction permit issued in 2011, the planning department said.
Actual single-family residence construction in 2011 also favored the south-central part of the county, with $1.8 million worth of construction in Green Township, the planning department said. That was on five conventional houses and one manufactured home.
The most houses completed in a township in 2011 were in Noble Township, with nine conventional and two manufactured homes, the planning department said. They were only valued at $235,000.
The overall permit total also was the highest since 2008, when 432 permits valued at $16.6 million were issued, the building department said.
Other 2011 permits issued were:
• 32 for residential additions, valued at a combined $891,885
• 33 for garages, valued at $518,680
• 19 for industries and businesses, valued at $1.4 million
• 56 for agricultural, valued at $2.3 million
• 214 other, such as for utility services, valued at $2.0 million.