Why Is Housing Not Being Built Fast Enough In The Tall City?

By Sylvia Gonzalez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Everywhere you look in the Basin some kind of construction is going up, restaurants, stores and yes believe it or not, even housing, but for some residents it seems housing is not being built fast enough.

According to Kenneth Van Dyne, Senior Planner for the City of Midland, there is a long process that happens before a residential or commercial building is approved by the city.

"On our side for the planning and zoning takes anywhere between two and three months we are telling developers, so that applies to both residential and commercial," Van Dyne said.

Assistant Fire Marshall David Hickman says that every city has guidelines that must be followed. As the city begins to grow, he says the main goal is to ensure the safety of local residents. That's the reason fire officials are diligent in inspecting every blue print which comes to their office.

"We don't allow these people to throw up just anything because it's not safe. We have to make sure it adheres to the building code requirements, to the fire code requirements and to the planning process. There's certain guidelines the city has to follow as it develops and as it grows like Midland and Odessa are we have to adhere to those. People need to be patient with the process as it's ongoing but it has to be adhered to," Hickman said.

Hickman says so far this month they have received 21 blue prints, that's averaging six a week, he says they have stayed busy for the past year.

"That's been consistent for the last year and half, we receive about that many, about six per week, of plain reviews on different projects, new construction remodel and that type of applications," Hickman said.

Van Dyne predicts that the boom will keep them busy for some time to come but he does see one issue that will have to be dealt with and that is finding land that is suitable to build on.

"Basically running out of available land that is for sale that has water lanes and sewer lanes running to it. I think that's the biggest shortage in town right now is available marketable land," Van Dyne said.