Construction values are way up: City

Total construction values are double what they were in Q2 2015.

Construction values are way up in Cranbrook.

Construction values are way up in Cranbrook.

Residential building permits and construction values in Cranbrook are way up, both in the second quarter and year-to-date, according to David Kim, the city’s top administration officer.

In an update to city council, Kim reported that the second quarter total construction values reached roughly $6.5 million, which is almost double the value from Q2 2015.

Kim attributed some of the rise in values to activity from Alberta, while Cranbrook Mayor Lee Pratt touted the city’s willingness to work with land developers.

“I think it’s a good sign in a return to confidence in Cranbrook for developers and that Cranbrook is open for business,” said Pratt. “The steps we’ve taken over the last 18 months have been positive.”

Residential values were up to 5.3 million, as compared to 2.7 million in 2015. Industrial and Institutional values were also up, however, commercial and values were down.

The report notes 11 new housing starts (single family and medium multi-family) and three manufactured/mobile home foundations, as compared to five new housing starts and five manufactured/mobile home foundations for Q2 2015.

The second quarter has also seen the city issue 79 building permits as compared to 60 in the same period last year.

Year to date, there is a significant jump in construction values, which is currently at 14.3 million, as compared to 5.3 million this time last year.

in residential value at $12.5 million, as compared to 4.3 million in the 2015 second quarter. Again, industrial and institutional values are also up, while commercial is down.

As of June 30, 2016, 124 permits have been issued as compared to 106 at the same time in 2015.

 

Seasonal patio bylaw

 

Though the city’s seasonal outdoor patio bylaw was officially adopted in July, there hasn’t been a single application by a downtown business for a patio area — either constructed or for bistro tables.

If any downtown business wishes to apply for a seasonal outdoor patio and set up for the remainder of the summer, a September 1, 2016, deadline is fast approaching.

Applications are available on the city website, while Rob Veg, the senior planner, can answer any questions at 250-2041 or email at rob.veg@cranbrook.ca.

On Monday, city council gave third reading to amending the municipal ticketing system to give staff the authority to issue $150 fines for businesses that have patios but no permit.

According to a city report, the $150 fine is comparable to other municipalities.

 

Gotta catch ’em all…

 

Usually a few people outside city hall on a Monday evening signals an interest in civic politics.

At least, that’s what Chris Zettel, the city’s coporate communications officer thought when he noticed a few people standing outside near the doors.

“I went down last night, as normal, went to unlock the door and there’s a handful of people waiting outside,” said Zettel, “and like most people, when you’re waiting for something, you’re looking at your smartphone.

“So I unlocked the door and said, ‘Hey, come on in, council’s just about to start’ and they stood there and looked at me for a sec with blank stares.”

That’s because local politics wasn’t on their minds.

Instead, it was Pokemon Go hunters searching for the coveted creatures.

Pokemon Go — an augmented reality game where users catch Pokemon on their phones by traveling around real-time geographic locations — is the latest fad to sweep North America.

So if the city is ever looking for a new way to engage residents, they could always set up Pokemon lures in council chambers.