Summit County building permits on pace to eclipse record-setting 2018

Work continues on luxury townhomes being constructed Monday, Oct. 21, on Galena Street Alley in Frisco.
Nicole Miller /

FRISCO — Through the first nine months of the year, building permit requests in Summit County are on pace to eclipse 2018, which itself was a record-setting year for construction.

The Summit County Building Inspection Department has seen a 10% increase in requests for building permits through September 2019 compared with last year, according to Chief Building Official Jeff Flynn, whose department oversees projects in Silverthorne, Dillon and unincorporated Summit County.

“The towns of Dillon and Silverthorne, both of those areas, the skylines are going to be changing,” Flynn said about current development work. “Silverthorne is one area that’s been a lot busier than it has in the past.”

In Dillon, there are three major development sites: Uptown 240, which is a mixed-use building on Lake Dillon Drive that will include ground-level commercial real estate and 80 residential condos; Homewood Suites, which is a 122-room hotel going up on Lake Dillon Drive and U.S. Highway 6; and Sail Lofts Building 2, a project composed of 24 residential condominiums on East La Bonte Street.

There also are several projects scheduled to begin in Dillon, including a new Panera Bread on Dillon Ridge Road, a new urgent care center and a medical building.

In Silverthorne, Blue River Parkway is the hot spot for new construction. In June, 24 condos were approved, and in September, there were 12 multifamily homes and another 26 condos approved. Flynn said the department has done about 1,000 more inspections in Silverthorne this year compared with last year.

On-mountain projects at Copper Mountain Resort, workforce housing in Keystone and the Blue Sky Estates subdivision also have brought up the amount of new construction in unincorporated Summit County, Flynn said.

“We haven’t seen these types of large projects since the early 2000s,” Flynn said, referring to the construction of Copper Mountain Village and Keystone’s River Run Village.

Breckenridge and Frisco, which have their own building departments, also have seen upticks in permit requests. Breckenridge had a slight increase in permit applications through August, adding only two from last year. Frisco, on the other hand, had a 66% increase in applications through the first eight months of the year.

Many of the commercial building permits were for businesses that are undergoing remodels or moves, including Next Page Books and Nosh, Vinny’s Euro American Cuisine, Howard Head Sports Medicine, Smile Doctors, Rebel Sports, Carlos Mexican Bar and Grill, HighSide Brewery and Sherwin Williams.

Aside from commercial building improvements, many permits are issued for work on existing homes or buildings. For example, there are several permits for reroofing, deck replacements, window replacements, and other residential home upgrades.

Vanessa Agee, marketing and communications director for the town of Frisco, said that while this appears to be a large increase, there were projects that pulled multiple permits. For example: reroofing at a condo complex that required a permit be issued for each unit.

While commercial building, especially apartments, has gone up, single-family residential building has stayed stagnant aside from a few exceptions, such as Smith Ranch in Silverthorne.

Dan Burroughs, engineer for the town of Dillon, said this is largely due to the fact that the town is reaching build-out. 

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