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The impact of new housing and developments on resources

“We’re still as busy as we’ve ever been in terms of permitting”
Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 9:12 AM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — A study by Big Rentz revealed in the last five years, out of the entire United States, the percentage of building permits issued increased the most in Idaho.

Twin Falls County has seen already seen more single-family dwelling permits this year (140) than the entirety of last year (121), but the county’s new Comprehensive Plan is working to keep agriculture viable.

“Our hope is to push development closer to the cities and the area of impacts rather than taking up little subdivisions out in the middle of farm ground,” said Twin Falls County Community Development Director Jon Laux.

The city has also seen a jump in permits. A 10.9% jump from this same time last year.

As time goes, housing will start moving closer to county lines. As a result, there could be more talks of annexation between city and county entities.

“We anticipate it’s going to be coming, but we don’t know what the city’s plans are,” Laux said.

With increased development, another resource to point towards is water.

The City of Twin Falls says they have worked for years to be prepared to conserve and depend less on the aquafer used. The city feels prepared for more expected growth.

“But obviously, with water being a finite resource, we have concerns about a growing population and a growing dependency on that water,” said City of Twin Falls Public Information Officer Josh Palmer.

Despite a June of low permit numbers 53% decrease from 2020 due to staffing and supply shortages, the demand is still there.

“We’re still as busy as we’ve ever been in terms of permitting, and the safety inspections, just making sure the homes that are going up are meeting that minimum requirement, that they’re safe for families to live in,” Palmer said.

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