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Some race to get permits before water rule takes effect

January 10th, 2013 - 8:45am

(Sequim) -- Clallam County saw an uptick in building permit activity late last year.

Community Development Director Sheila Roark Miller says it was all because of the new water-use rules in the Dungeness Valley.

Miller tells KONP her office saw a number of property owners file for building permits just before the end of the year, mainly to avoid the new rule that went into effect in the new year.

Miller says now building permits that require a well will have to subscribe to a new water bank.

However, the state has funded 100 credits the county can use towards domestic, indoor water use. Miller says a typical home that is not doing outside watering would require one credit.

Those wishing to do more outdoor watering would have to purchase additional credits. The state also will put meters on wells to monitor water use.

Those who filed for permits before the end of last year would fall under old rules that left typical sized wells as exempt use.

But even with the slight uptick late last year, Miller says building activity in Clallam County continues to remain stagnant and down. She says a good year sees about 400 building permits. Last year, the county had about 100.

Miller says the economy is still dragging down building activity and people are having a hard time getting financing. She says many are choosing to buy existing built homes rather than building new, stick-built homes right now.

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