By Matt Blois

The City of Spring Hill issued about 100 more building permits last year than it did the year before.

A new report from the Building Codes department shows that the city gave out 804 permits, compared to 699 last year. The number of building permits was split fairly evenly between Maury and Williamson Counties, with Maury receiving 58 more permits.

This is the ninth consecutive year that the number of building permits has increased, but it’s still well below the number of permits issued by the city in 2005 when it issued 1,451. 

Spring Hill’s Building Codes Director Chris Brooks said the number of permits issued has increased by about 100 each year since the recession ended in 2009, when it issued 192 permits.

“It all hinges on if they’re buying,” he said. “If contractors can build homes and sell them they will build as many as they can.”

Sometime this year the city expects to implement a new set of rules for developers hoping to build in Spring Hill. Brooks described it as a modernization of the current development code, which he said is very outdated.

Even though the new rules could restrict some of the things developers can do, Brooks said it probably wouldn’t affect the amount of construction in the city because the updated code will include more specific language about what developers can and can’t do. The current code doesn’t always have a clear category for new developments that include several types of construction—such as shops, homes and offices—on one property.

“It’ll be a lot easier to place those on properties with this new zoning code,” he said.

Developers had to pay the city a total of $4.5 million for new residential building permits. Brooks said some of those fees help the city pay to maintain services, such as water and sewer lines, for those homes. Developers are responsible for installing pipes and connecting them to homes, but once the project is finished the city takes over those services.

In total, all the new construction in Spring Hill in 2017, including new homes, commercial buildings, home additions and several other types of construction, cost $40.5 million to build. About $1.8 million of that went towards building new homes. A larger portion went towards the constructing or modifying commercial buildings, but there were only 13 permits issued for new commercial buildings.