The building boom in Fairfax County has created such a heavy workload in the county's Department of Environmental Management that county executive Leonard Whorton has said he will recommend hiring more building inspectors and plans review personnel.
According to estimates based on figures for the first four months of 1977, 9,600 new housing units will be under construction this year in the county. That is nearly twice the number of units started in the county last year and represents a return to the boom levels of 1973.
"We've got a boom because of economy is good," explained Donald Strickhauser, director of the county's Environmental Management Department. "The market is there; the land is zoned right: there's finance money available, and facilities are there."
The biggest slump in Fairfax County building since 1973 occured in 1975, when building permits for only 3,100 housing units were issued. The county's moratorium on sewer hookups ended in January, 1976 and according to Strickhauser "that certainly has been a factor" in the increase in housing starts.
In 1976 there were 5,900 permits issued, and if county estimates are correct, 11,500 will be issued this year. The number of building permits always runs higher than the number of actual building starts, said Strickhauser.
Most of the building activity in the county remains in the single family housing category. Last year, a county study showed that the average cost of a house in Fairfax County was $67,000.
Whorton announced he would ask for more personnel to handle the increase in building permits at at a recent meeting of the Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations.