Construction continues

Coal City, Diamond hand out building permits
Ann Gill

Recently released data points to a population decline in the state of Illinois, the second largest decline in the nation. But, is the movement out of the Land of Lincoln affecting local communities?
“I’m not seeing that here,” said Coal City’s building and zoning official Bob Malone.
The town did witness a small decline in the number of new home permits issued in 2018, 14 compared to 16 in 2017, but Malone said it’s nothing to be concerned about. In fact, he predicts new home construction in the village will remain steady, if not increase in the coming year.
“I have no concerns at all and I’ve had people inquiring about building,” he said, noting the village has ample space for residential construction.
The same can be said for the village of Diamond where five new homes were constructed last year, according to data provided by Cindy Haywood, the town’s planning and zoning coordinator.
In both Diamond and Coal City the majority of homes being built are single story structures with a construction cost ranging from $200,000 to $300,000.
About 90 percent of the homes built in Coal City include a basement and a large percentage of those homeowners are opting to include tornado rooms within that space.
“That’s been pretty common since the storm,” Malone said, referring to the 2015 tornado that struck the village and its predecessor that damaged homes and commercial structures in Diamond less than two years earlier.
As he reviews construction plans and completes inspections, Malone has also noticed some trends in home design, from stone countertops and house vacuum systems to secret rooms and barn doors, a feature he’s come to like.
Design features tend to come and go, and building officials like Malone and Haywood see a variety of them.
“It’s really all about what the homeowner likes,” Malone said.
According to the data provided by Coal City’s building department 57 percent of the new homes built last year are located in the Meadow Estates Subdivision.
In the past five years 104 new homes have gone up in Coal City; about 45 percent of those to replace structures destroyed by the tornado.
Looking ahead to 2019, Malone foresees a building boom in the area as new residential, commercial and industrial structures take shape.
“We have some industrial on the horizon and I think we will see home construction start to ramp up by  the end of March,” Malone said.
In total, the village of Coal City issued 121 permits for everything from building demolitions to drainage improvements, collecting just over $50,000 in permit fees.
Haywood reports she issued 40 permits last year for everything from pools and decks to additions and restorations.

121 total permits issued
14     Single family home
48      Fence
2     Plumbing upgrade/alteration
7     Electric upgrade/alteration
13    Swimming pool
1    Basement
9     Shed
8     Deck
3     Drainage improvement
2     Home addition
1     Home alteration
5     Garage
3     Demolition
1     Sign
1     Ice machine

40 total permits issued
5    Single family home
1    Residential addition/alteration
11    Fence
8    Deck
5    Swimming pool
5    Garage/shed
1    Commerical addition/alteration
1    Electric
1    Pergola
1    Clubhouse renovation
1    Commerical fire restoration