Stephenville Fitness Center. La Quinta Inn. Fiddlecreek Steakhouse. A new Sonic. A new Subway. Albebaumer Insurance Agency. Grumps.

And the list of new building goes on and on.

Last year, the city of Stephenville approved permits for 33 new commercial structures.

“Stephenville is growing,” said Betty Chew, director of community development for the city of Stephenville. “

This week, Chew presented the “Community Development Annual Report” to the Stephenville City Council.

In addition to commercial growth, Chew said, “It was one of our better years residential wise.”

The city approved 34 new residential structures in 2006. Three new subdivisions, including 140 new residential lots, have also been approved.

“It’s not the largest as far as new construction but probably one of the top three in the last 10 years,” Chew said, noting that the average cost of residential property was $110,000 - and that doesn’t even include the cost of “the lot.”

Meanwhile, Chew said, the number of letters the city sent due to code enforcement violations increased from 650 in 2005 to 860 in 2006, a 25 percent increase.

“Unfortunately we have more properties that are not being taken care of,” Chew said.

In addition, Chew said, the number of city inspections increased from 1,800 in 2005 to 2,100 in 2006.

Five “dangerous” building structures were also removed in 2006 - three by the city, two by property owners - and “we probably have a list of 15 structures that need to be taken care of,” Chew said.

DOUG MYERS is Managing Editor of the Empire-Tribune. He can be reached at or (254) 965-3124, ext. 229.