New home construction in Wilson County has continued to boom following the March tornado and despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, developers are still pursuing and continuing projects in the county.

Wilson County Planning Director Tom Brashear said the department saw very little slow down in total construction and permitting numbers in Wilson County. 

“In fact, for the month of March, we were only eight residential permits shy of what we permitted in March of 2019,” Brashear said. “That is surprising when you consider the tornado occurred on March 3 and the coronavirus social distancing requirements began ramping up shortly thereafter.”

The March 3 tornado damaged 1,307 residential and commercial buildings throughout the county, including 778 structures in Lebanon and 395 structures in Mt. Juliet.

Wilson County and other planning departments throughout the county waived permit fees for the reconstruction of those damaged buildings. 

“For those that have already come in seeking those permits and for those who will be coming in, there will be no charge for the permits but we would appreciate them seeking permits from our office so they can have the assurance of codes compliance with replacement or significant structural repairs they might undertake via our inspection processes,” Brashear said. 

Lebanon Chief Building Official Danny Raines said the city did not have a stoppage of new construction or permit applications following the tornado. 

Lebanon Planning Director Paul Corder said the city issued 42 single-family permits in March, which is a usual number for the month. 

The Lebanon Planning Commission has approved several projects since the tornado via video conferencing, including the Phase 32 portion of the Harper Spence Creek development, which includes a 57-lot subdivision on 13 acres along State Route 109. 

The Mt. Juliet Planning Commission has not met since the March tornado due to the coronavirus pandemic, but Mt. Juliet Planning Director Jennifer Hamblen said the city has not experienced any stoppage in issuing new residential permits.  

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