Ryen Glynn Subdivision

Construction workers James Carlson (left) and Garrett Orrell (right) work on a house in the Ryen Glynn Subdivision in this 2017 file photo.

Construction is booming in Belgrade, a fact made evident not just by the amount of activity happening around town but also by the number of building permit applications received by the city so far this year.

Jason Karp, city planning director, said the city has received 369 building permit applications in 2019, or 48 percent more than the 250 it had received last year at this time.

“We’ve seen quite an uptick in building permit applications,” Karp said, adding that the majority are for residential projects in the Ryen Glen, Meadowlark Ranch and Story Creek subdivisions.

Some of the applications have been for multi-family dwellings, Karp said, but “far and away, the leading category (140 permits) is single family housing.”

A lesser number of 

applications were received for duplexes, triplexes and four-plexes, as well as for some commercial projects such as Wendy’s restaurant and Rocky Mountain Supply.

Karp said some of the increase is due to developers submitting applications prior to a substantial impact fee increase going into effect on July 22. The new fees are almost double what they were previously.

“We saw a huge influx in permit applications ahead of the impact fee deadline,” Karp said. “So many of our builders submitted applications ahead of time because of that.”

Karp noted that once permits are issued for a project, developers have six months to begin work or the permits will expire. He is unsure whether builders will be able to meet the hastened schedules in all cases.

Asked whether he expects the surge to continue, Karp said it depends on whether the economy remains strong. Assuming it does, he said he expects robust development to continue in the city.

Karp is expecting applications for some apartment buildings in the near future, as well as commercial permit applications at Yellowstone Airport Plaza, which is soon to receive final plat approval. He said building likely will begin at Airport Plaza in mid-September.