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Permits on the rise in Plumas as county rebuilds

All counties are required to submit an annual report on the status of their general plan to the state, but first report must be presented to their local legislative body for review. Plumas County Planning Director Tracey Ferguson made the presentation for 2022 during the Board of Supervisors March 21 meeting. Included in the 14-page report was information about the number of building permits issued last year.

According to the report, Plumas County Planning and Building Services processed 1,336 permits in 2022, including well and septic permits, building permits, no fee permits (e.g., water heaters, 200-square-feet or less non-habitable sheds or agricultural buildings), and miscellaneous permits (e.g., re-roof, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC). This represents roughly a 300-permit increase from the 2021 total of 1,031 permits.

Between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2022, Plumas County had 50 housing units completed based on final inspections, certificates of occupancy, completion certificates, or utility releases. Of the 50 housing units, 36 were newly constructed single-family detached units, 12 were newly constructed single-family mobile home units, and 2 were newly constructed accessory dwelling units (ADUs).

By comparison, in 2021 there were 39 housing units completed; in 2020 there were 30; in 2019 there were 38; and in 2018 there were 52.

But those numbers are expected to increase as the rebuilding continues from the 2021 fires. The report also included a section on units lost to fire. In 2022, two single-family detached units were lost to demolition, fire, or natural disaster and zero single-family mobile home units or multi-family units were lost. By contrast, in 2021, more than 700 single-family units, multi-family units, mobile home units, and motor homes were lost to demolition, fire, or natural disaster. The units lost in 2021 were predominantly due to the Dixie and Beckwourth Complex fires — 1,300 structures and 60 structures respectively.

A section of the report addressed the county’s housing needs, and County Administrative Officer Debra Lucero said it’s important to address the issue now.

Supervisor Greg Hagwood said that a good forum on the topic was held at Gold Mountain last year. “Those are the environments to bring a lot of people together to solve some of these problems,” Hagwood said.

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