Pottawatomie County sees rise in residential permits

WESTMORELAND (KSNT) – The U.S. 24 Highway corridor between Wamego and Manhattan has been part of Pottawatomie County’s expansion plan for several years.

Now, that growth is starting to show in the number of permits the county planning and zoning office issued in 2015.

According to Gregg Webster, the zoning administrator for the county, 132 permits were issued for “new dwelling units” in Pottawatomie County as a whole last year.

That number is the highest in the three year rise that started in 2012.

From 2012-2013, the county issued 30 more permits than the previous year.

“With the things going on in the Manhattan area, Fort Riley, the university (and the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility) that’s why we’re seeing the steady growth,” Webster said.

For 2015, the county issued 68 permits in Blue Township, 39 in St. George and 9 in Louisville. Other parts of the county like Emmett and Spring Creek only had one permit issued.

“Everything that we’re talking about with these new permits in Blue Township are all within subdivisions,” Webster said. “They’re all within a development.”

Once the permit application has been signed and approved, Webster said builders have six months to start construction.

And those 132 new permits mean more than 100,000 dollars in additional property tax for the county.

“Well, I hope that those dollars are put towards … things that come with expansion like streets and highways,” said county resident and realtor Terri Hollenbeck.

She owns Crossroads Real Estate and Auction off U.S. 24 Highway.

Hollenbeck knows first hand the county is growing, especially in areas called “rural subdivisions.”

“It’s kind of like a neighborhood,” she said. “But (the houses) set on one or two acre lots versus a 75 by 100 foot lot.”

The county started keeping track of approved permits in January 1999. Since that time, “permits have been issued for 737 single family homes, 27 duplex structures and 2 triplex structures,” paperwork for the county read.

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