Dickinson growth brings record permit numbersDickinson is growing faster than the most populous city in the state, as far as building permit values go, and that means the city could be issuing record numbers of building permits, officials said Wednesday.
By: April Baumgarten, The Dickinson Press
Dickinson is growing faster than the most populous city in the state, as far as building permit values go, and that means the city could be issuing record numbers of building permits, officials said Wednesday.
“That’s pretty remarkable when you think about the size of Fargo,” Dickinson Mayor Dennis Johnson said. “That really says something about the development that is taking place out here in the west.”
City Administrator Shawn Kessel read the report from the North Dakota Builders Association at the Dickinson City Commission meeting Monday. Dickinson has issued more than $95 million in permits this year through September, putting the city in third place behind first place Williston at $217 million and second place Minot at $132 million.
Fargo, which has the largest population in the state at more than 105,000 residents, came behind Dickinson in issuing permits at $94 million. Dickinson was ranked seventh in the 2010 census with almost 18,000 people. Kessel estimated the city could reach 24,000 in 2011
An oil boom in western North Dakota has caused permitting numbers to increase, officials said. City Engineer Shawn Soehren said there are signs Dickinson will grow more than it did this year.
“I just visited with a developer who has plans of putting in 100 homes next year, and that is one that is not doing any work in town right now,” Soehren said. “That would be double what we have if everybody did what they are doing with one developer coming in.”
Johnson said the last time Dickinson saw a growth in permitting was during an oil boom in the 1970s and 1980s. He believes Dickinson has surpassed the record for issuing permits since then.
Not everyone likes the fact that the city is issuing a high number of permits. Rod Landblom, former Dickinson city commissioner, said at the meeting that the City should slow down before it has a plan in place.
“Prior planning prevents poor performance,” Landblom said. “Your infrastructure is stressed. I wonder if it is not time to limit the subdivisions (approved).”
City Planner Courton said the City can limit the number of permits issued, but he doesn’t see the Commission making that decision.
“That would be a dramatic change in philosophy and direction to do it,” Courton said.
Johnson added he understood Landblom’s reasoning, but limiting the number of permits issued would not help lower prices on housing.
“I think the solution to the high cost of housing is to build more housing,” Johnson said. “I think that is a bigger problem than making a mistake on terms where we locate a housing development.”
No matter what the City decides to do, it is the general consensus of the Commission and officials that more people will be coming to North Dakota and the market for building will not slow down.