Despite the pandemic, the City of Salmon Arm saw building permit values increase through April this year over the same period in 2019 and construction in the community appears to be going strong. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)

Despite COVID-19, construction of single family homes in Salmon Arm outdoing 2019 numbers

Value of category’s 2020 building permits is $1.7 million more than 2019 year-to-date

If it seems like there’s been a fair amount of construction in Salmon Arm recently, that’s because there has been.

The city’s building department statistics for April 2020 show there have been 11 permits for single family dwellings issued this year, three of them in April. That compares to nine year-to-date in 2019.

The value of those permits for single family homes so far this year is $4.6 million, which is $1.7 million more than last year’s $2.9 million for the same period.

The numbers of permits for new secondary or detached suites is also higher so far this year, just as are permits for new modular homes.

Coun. Kevin Flynn remarked on the statistics at a recent council meeting.

“Single family dwellings, the really good news, we’re up almost 1.8 million, and really the only difference between this year, which is a really unusual year with COVID and everything, and last year, is two big commercial developments last year and three industrial. So I’m thinking this is actually quite good news and staff is still working very hard.”

Read more: Development plans in Salmon Arm move forward despite pandemic

Read more: Salmon Arm history in pictures – Hospital under construction

Mayor Alan Harrison agreed.

“In fact there’s more permits in March this year than last year and outside those big ones you talked about, yes I think we have to be very happy where we’re at in the month of April.”

Although the total value of all 19 categories of building permits issued in 2019, year-to-date, was $18 million compared to 2020’s $9.2 million – nearly double, Flynn pointed out that if the comparison was just for single family dwellings, the city would be looking good this year, comparatively.

The difference was the large projects.

“So if anybody’s got five to 10 million extra and wants to develop something big, I’m sure we’d welcome it and we’d be back where we were,” he quipped.

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