The Oconee County Code Enforcement Office issued 502 single family and town home permits in 2013, exceeding the number issued for residential construction in 2006--before the housing collapse of a year later.
The county also issued 105 commercial permits in 2013, again exceeding the number in 2006.
The increase in building permits was not mirrored by increases in zoning requests processed by the Oconee County Planning Department, meaning that builders so far are using up the backlog of zoned properties rather than creating new ones.
The increase in residential permits reflects the issuance of permits for 190 town homes at the massive Athens Ridge student housing complex on Old Macon Highway at the border with Athens-Clarke County.
The number of single family permits issued in 2013 was up from 2012 but was still far below the 2006 level and even below the number issued in 2007.
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