6/24/2013 4:10:00 PM City staff on new housing
permits: 'We're rockin' '
By David Richards
After struggling with new housing permits during the deep recession of 2008-2010, permits in Byron have increased each of the past two years.
For 2013, the city is on pace to extend that streak and is drawing more business than surrounding communities similar in size.
"We're rockin,' " said Mary Blair-Hoeft, city administrator. "I think as long as Rochester grows, I think Byron will grow. As long as Mayo is healthy, Byron will be."
The numbers speak for themselves.
In 2007, Byron issued 27 new housing permits just as the recession was building to its peak. In 2008, there were 19; 18 for 2009 and 17 in 2010.
In 2011, permits increased for the first time in four years when the number was 23.
"I'd like to say it's the great community," Blair-Hoeft said when asked about the increase.
"We have some great lots, a great community and great schools."
Last year, Byron's permits increased to 42 and could possibly beat that number by double digits this year.
For 2013 so far, city staff has issued 26 permits.
Blair-Hoeft said the permits have been more spread out recently compared to last year when roughly half were issued for Byron Towne Square. This year, permits have been for the Towne Square, but also more equally divided among Somerby and Brook Lawn as well.
"This year, they're a little more all over," she said.
Compare to other towns, Byron is doing just fine.
So far this year, according to Byron city staff, Oronoco has issued 12 new housing permits; Kasson 9; Stewartville 6; Zumbrota 4; and Pine Island 3.
Blair-Hoeft also said she thinks the frontage road renovation, which should be completed in November, could very well draw in more permits.
"I think it's going to make Byron more visibly attractive," she said.