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Since start of 2019, Jefferson County has issued 26 building permits for Metolius.

DESIREE BERGSTROM/MADRAS PIONEER - Several homes are under construction in two subdivisions in Metolius — Roy Heart Estates and Havilah Estates. The projects have combined for 26 home permits since the beginning of the year.Houses are popping up in a pair of subdivisions in Metolius and Katrina Weitman, administrative supervisor for Jefferson County Community Development Department, said it may have something to do with the lower system development charges in the small town.

Roy Heart Estates and Havilah Estates are the two subdivisions, right next door to each other, where the buiding "boom" is taking place.

A trip up Patriot Drive, off State Highway 361, gets you back into the area, where its streets are lined with houses at various stages of construction. Some are just a shell, others, completely sided and awaiting paint.

The Community Development Department issues single-family residence permits for the area, and according to Weitman, there has been a dramatic spike in the number of permits issued in Metolius since the beginning of 2019.

She said that in 2017, the office only issued 12 of the permits in Metolius and 10 permits in 2018. Over the last six months or so, beginning in January, they have issued 26 new home permits between the two subdivisions.

Weitman said that a possible reason for the spike in Metolius building could have something to do with the lower system development charges associated with building there. When a new home is built in any town, there are fees that accompany it, paid to the city that go toward things like transportation costs (road maintenance) and parks in the area.

Sometimes, as Madras has done in the past, communities look at lowering system development charges in order to encourage development and help lower income housing.

In comparison to the Metolius numbers, Madras only saw two more home permits than Metolius in 2018, with a total of 12, and in 2017, the city of Madras had 18 new home permits.

The majority of the building is happening in the Roy Heart Estates subdivision, according to Weitman, who said Havilah Estates is a smaller and slower moving project.

Karoma Properties owns Roy Heart, with the general contractor listed as Sego Contractors. Havilah Estates is a project of Scott Teeny, with Teeny Homes. Weitman said that she believes the lots were purchased quite a long time ago and the developers sat on them until it penciled out for them to build.

In the past five years, with the exception of a small dip in 2018, Jefferson County as a whole has seen a substantial increase in home building, going from just 32 permits issued countywide in 2014, to 91 permits issued in 2017, and 2018 wasn't far behind, with 82 total permits.


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