The official magazine of the North Carolina Home Builders Association
Vol. 41, No.5 Winter 2011
The NCHBA welcomes its 2012 president
Erik Anderson • 2011 Legislative Recap • Six Earn NCBI Designation • STARS Awards Winners
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The official magazine of the North Carolina Home Builders Association
2005 Communicator Award Winner
V ol . 41, N o . 5, W inter 2011
Dedicated to the advancement of the home building industry, North Carolina Builder (ISSN 1552-8685) is published monthly for the members of the North Carolina Home Builders Association, P.O. Box 99090, Raleigh, N.C. 27624-9090. (800) 662-7129 • http://www.nchba.com
Meet Erik Anderson__________________________________________ 6
Mike Carpenter Executive Vice President and General Counse l
NCHBECF Scholarship Winners________________________________ 9
NCBI Graduates____________________________________________ 10
Lisa Martin Director of Government Affairs
Robert Privott Director of Codes and Construction firstname.lastname@example.org Jessica Hayes Director of Political Affairs
Kathryn Atkinson Director of Membership Services email@example.com Deborah Alford Director of Exhibitions and Education
Tracie Garrett Director of Exhibitor Services
Kep Paylor Vocational Education
Mike Elledge Controller
Erin Jones Manager of Political Operations Heather Massengill Director of Communications and Managing Editor
STARS Awards Winners_______________________________________ 8
21CBEC Recap____________________________________________ 11
Contents 5. President’s Message 12. 2011 Legislative Recap On the cover: Erik Anderson will serve as President of the North Carolina Home Builders Association in 2012.
Brittany Weathersbee Assistant Education Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org Beth Gray Receptionist
Publisher Kevin Naughton Graphic Designer Jason Gabel Advertising Sales Manager Brenda Poe Advertising Sales Marsha Suwienski: (800) 935-1592, ext. 106 email@example.com Brenda Poe: (800) 935-1592, ext. 115 firstname.lastname@example.org Published by:
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Acceptance of advertising in North Carolina Builder does not imply endorsement of the product or service by NCHBA. Opinions expressed in articles are those of the authors and people quoted and not necessarily those of NCHBA, nor does mention of specific products in editorial content imply endorsement by NCHBA. No material may be reproduced for further publication without the express permission of the association. North Carolina Builder is published for the principals and employees of all member firms of the North Carolina Home Builders Association and Affiliated with the Association its receipt is included in the membership fee. North National of Home Builders. Carolina Builder is published six times per year. Since the mailing list used by North Carolina Builder is compiled according to membership records, address corrections should be directed to your local association. Dues paid to NCHBA are not deductible as charitable contributions for income tax purposes. However, they may be deductible as ordinary and necessary business expenses subject to restrictions imposed as a result of association lobbying activities. NCHBA estimates that the nondeductible portion of your 2012 dues — the portion that is allocable to lobbying — is 39 percent.
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NCHBA Calendar 2012 Schedule of Events Jan. 23-27 Regional Meetings
February 21 1st Quarter Meeting, Raleigh
March 6-8 NC Builder Institute, Raleigh Winter 2011
by Bill Daleure, 2011 NCHBA President
The Year in Review
hope that this finds you in good health and good spirit Objective V - NCHBA is committed to financial soundness of as we end 2011 and start 2012 anew. The housing market its organization and to its subsidiary local associations. Our year remains flat due to a world economy that is fragile and lacks end NCHBA budget numbers should show us in the black, leadership to restore confidence in our global financial including a profit from the 21st Century Building Expo & Conference. In addition, NCHBA helped promote luncheons and business communities. Our theme for this year, Helping with BMIC agents and local HBAs to strengthen relationships our Members Survive, was approached with aggressive action and add new members. NCHBA will continue to work by your Executive Committee, our members and our highly Daleure with production builders to better involve them in NCHBA motivated and committed Staff.The result was a very successful committees and on the Board of Directors. year as measured by the accomplishments of the six key objectives of Objective VI—NCHBA is committed to assisting its members in our 2010 Strategic Plan and the goals associated with the objectives. exploring business and housing alternatives in a shifting culture and Below is a brief summary of accomplishments: unstable economy. NCHBA held two free webinars to discuss how to Objective I—NCHBA will commit its energy and resources to providing marketing effectively online and the applicability to the industry of valued services to all of the members; regardless of size, including home the E-Verify system. builders, remodelers, and associate members through effective communication These accomplishments are impressive, even as a brief summary. I of industry initiatives, leadership training, and education. This objective was owe great thanks to the members of the Executive Committee, the accomplished by the following actions: members of our standing committees and our NCHBA Staff. These • Made classes available through the NC Builder Institute at accomplishments could not have been realized without a focused and reduced cost to locals associations. dedicated team effort. • Launched a new user-friendly NCHBA web site with MembersAs for 2012, there is much left to do. The team that can make 2012 Only section. a better year than 2011 is in place and ready to work for you. Under • Included a section for the public on the NCHBA web site Erik Anderson’s leadership, you can count on the team to give you explaining why they should hire builder members, the value of 110% effort to further the mission of NCHBA. professional designations, and more. Finally, it has been a pleasure and privilege to serve you as the • Issued list of the Top 10 NCHBA Actions to show the value of 2011 President. Thank you for the support, the encouragement and membership. the great ideas. It is my sincere hope that each of you find 2012 to be • Promoted the NAHB Touch Program and made grants to HBAs a more productive and profitable year. of less than 300 members to improve retention; one-third of our membership is now using the program. Objective II—NCHBA will be a political, legislative, regulatory, and legal advocate for its members to promote the financial sustainability and affordability of housing, fair and unburdened business practices for its members, and the identification and support of those seeking to be elected to government office who supports the mission of NCHBA. Legislative success of a historic nature was accomplished this year. In this issue, you will read a more in-depth summary of our many victories, such as ending the abuse of moratoria authority, providing for legal challenges of illegal ordinances, repealing the land transfer tax, leading the efforts to enact sweeping regulatory reform, workers comp reform and tort reform. Objective III—NCHBA is committed to being the voice for environmentally conscious and affordable housing for the citizens of NC. • Created a basic building science course promoting environmentally conscious practices. • Persuaded the NC Building Code Council and Governor to accept 15% energy savings code with removal of unnecessary existing code requirements to offset the cost of the new energy code. • Created a Best Practices Manual for green building. Objective IV—NCHBA is committed to maintaining and supporting highly knowledgeable staff members for the purposes of carrying out its mission. NCHBA promoted continuing education for staff to obtain and maintain professional designations; reviewed and updated staff human resource manual; and created extensive job descriptions for each employee position at NCHBA.
North Carolina Builder 5
Anderson will focus on NCHBA’s mission in 2012
live my life to help others.” That phrase is what incoming President Erik Anderson says is his life motto, and he will keep it in the forefront of his mind as he takes the reins of the North Carolina Home Builders Association in 2012. He has set the usual goals that HBA presidents do, but overall he said he hopes to use his role of President to help others live their life better—through their business, through educational opportunities and through involvement in the HBA. Anderson grew up in a small town in Western Pennsylvania. He knew that he wanted to work in the construction industry and originally pictured himself owning a large commercial contracting company. After earning a Civil Engineering degree from N.C. State University, he went to work for a company that primarily built landfills. After a while, he decided to go back to University of Pittsburgh to obtain his Masters degree in Business Administration. With his business degree in hand, Anderson went back to work for his previous company. Shortly thereafter his best friend from college, Tracy Moore, started a home building company and Anderson became a silent partner. Seven months later, when his friend needed more help in the business, he asked Erik to come and work
with him in the company. Anderson moved to Surry County, just north of Winston-Salem, and Anderson-Moore Builders was established. After building about four or five homes, the last one in 1999, they decided that new home building wasn’t the right fit for their business, and they began to focus solely on remodeling. “The homeowners that we worked with on remodeling projects realized the value of our work and it was gratifying,” Anderson said. “I like having problems presented to us and trying to figure out how to fix them.” In 2009, they started DreamMaker Bath and Kitchen to compliment the renovation work they were doing with their main company, Anderson-Moore Builders, Inc.
Getting Involved in the HBA Anderson originally joined his local HBA to obtain workers’ compensation insurance. He had no idea what the HBA was about, but knew that their company needed a good insurance policy. Shortly after joining, he learned about NAHB’s Remodeler 20 Club, a group of 20 remodelers throughout the nation who meet to share ideas, business policies, marketing techniques, etc. “Joining the 20 Club was the single most important thing we did for our business. It changed the way we did business for the better,” Anderson said. Through the club he learned about the Remodeler’s Council at the HBA of Winston-Salem (HBAWS). After attending a few meetings he heard about a home show that the HBA was trying to get off the ground. He liked the idea of showcasing the work of the Council to homeowners, so he took the lead in starting the Showcase of Remodeled Homes, which is now an annual event. Gradually, Anderson became more involved with his HBA and started learning about the great things that it did for the industry. He was
invited to become an officer, and in 2005 he became President of the HBAWS. “There were a lot of great people that I got to meet, and I developed some great relationships,” Anderson said. “I learned that individually you can make a difference in the industry, so I looked in to becoming involved with NCHBA.” Anderson served as Regional Vice President of Region VII for three years and began to think about running for state President. “I always had so much fun as the HBAWS President. I looked back on all we accomplished and decided to look into being state President,” he said. Anderson talked with Paul Mullican, a former NCHBA President and a fellow member of the HBAWS, who encouraged him to pursue it. Anderson has two main goals for his Presidency. The first is to help our members understand the true reason for the existence of the NCHBA. He says that the NCHBA mission statement sums it up, and as he travels to local HBAs in 2012, he will reiterate our focus of protecting the American Dream of home ownership through advocacy, education and professional development. His second goal is to increase professionalism through education. Anderson learned the value of education from his father, who was a lifelong learner, and hopes to communicate the value to NCHBA members. As President of the HBAWS, Anderson was instrumental in establishing a continuing education requirement for members and will explore this on a state level during his term. A scientific survey is planned to gauge members’ support for mandatory CE. In addition, Anderson will promote the NC Builder Institute and vocational education opportunities. “I have a fairly good formal education, but industry education is what propelled us to do better as a company,” he said. “We can always learn to do something better.”
More About Erik
Family: Wife, Lisa, and son, Bodie, age 3 Hobbies: kayaking, hiking, golf, canoeing, skiing, Pittsburg sports, reading about business success stories Designations: CGR, CGB, GMB, CAPS, AB, AMB Awards: Anderson-Moore Builders has received many outstanding awards such as making the Qualified Remodeler’s Top 500 every year since 2003; several NCHBA STARS Awards; Builder of the Year from the HBAWS; several civic awards and many more. View a complete list at http://andersonmoore.com/awards.php. Contact: www.AndersonMoore.com or www.DreamMakerNC.com; e-mail – email@example.com or erik@dreammakerNC.com Catch Erik on a weekly radio show on WSJS (600 AM) in Winston-Salem that focuses on building issues, renovation projects, and home improvement.
6 North Carolina Builder
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STARS Awards honor best of the home building industry
s Richard White (center) of Pella Window and Door was named the Distinguished Associate Member of the Year. White is a member of the HBAs of Craven-Pamlico Cos., Outer Banks, Onslow Co. and Carteret Co. Pictured with him (l-r) NCHBA senior officers Barry Tutor, Mike Carpenter, J. Gary Hill, Bill Daleure, Erik Anderson and Lyle Gardner.
s Andy Ragan (center) of Ragan-Embler Builders was named the Distinguished Builder Member of the Year. Pictured l-r: Karen McCorkle (2-10 Home Buyers Warranty), Mike Carpenter (NCHBA), Ann Crenella (Cabarrus BIA), Jeff Sellers (PSNC Energy), Ragan, Julie Ragan, Kelli Embler and Gary Embler.
s Top Photo: The Community of the Year Award was given to Ammons Development Group for Heritage in Wake Forest, NC. Heritage is comprised of 26 neighborhoods ranging in price with a vast array of recreational facilities.
he North Carolina Home Builders Association presented 44 prestigious STARS awards at the annual STARS Awards Gala on September 14 at the Hilton Charlotte Center City Hotel. The STARS Awards program honors the achievements of home building industry professionals from North Carolina and surrounding states. Winners received recognition in areas such as marketing and advertising, web design, landscape design, interior merchandising, architecture/floor plan and special projects. Awards were also given to local home builders associations. STARS Awards winners include:
Ashe County HBA Best Internet Marketing/Advertising Project—St. Germain Media Services for the “Size Doesn’t Matter” New River Custom Builders YouTube video Best Internet Website for an Associate—Lifestore Insurance Best HBA Internet Website—Ashe County HBA Best HBA Event or Special Project for small to midsize HBA— Ashe County HBA for the Ashe County Gun & Knife Show
Asheville HBA Best Whole House Remodel/Renovation over $250,000—Living Stone Construction for the Query residence 8 North Carolina Builder
Brunswick Co. HBA Best Brochure/Direct Mail for an associate—American Builders Marketing Group Best Television Project—American Builders Marketing Group for the “Today’s Builder” television show Best Interior Merchandising for a model with a sales price $500,000–$1 Million—Blue Sky Building Company for the Urban Fusion residence Best Single Family Detached Home with a sales price of $500,000–$750,000—Blue Sky Building Company for the Urban Fusion residence Special Project-Accessibility—Blue Sky Building Company for the Loch Bothy residence
Cabarrus Co. BIA Best HBA Community Project for a small to midsize HBA— Cabarrus Co. Building Industry Association for the Jimmy Murphey Home Project
HBA of Charlotte Best HBA Event or Special Project (honorable mention)—HBA of Charlotte Women’s Council for their Charity Fashion Show and Silent Auction Winter 2011
HBA of Fayetteville
Moore Co. HBA
Best Internet Website for a Builder/Developer—Caviness and Cates Communities (also a member of Onslow Co. HBA)
Best Single Family Detached Home with a sales price of $750,000– $1 million—Pinehurst Homes Inc. for the Boals residence Best Addition $60,000 and under—Yates Hussey Construction for the Hussey residence Best Addition over $60,000—Pinehurst Homes Inc. for the Matthews residence Best Whole House Remodel/Renovation $250,000 and under— Harris and Son Construction Co. for the Lawhon residence Best Room Remodel/Renovation—Daniel Adams Construction for the Tartamella residence (also a member of the Yadkin Valley HBA) Best HBA Community Project (Honorable Mention)—Moore Co. HBA–Project Santa
Harnett Co. HBA Best Single Family Detached Home with a sales price of $250,000–$500,000—Brad D. Cummings Construction Co. Inc. for the Andrews residence
HBA of Durham, Orange & Chatham Cos. Best Brochure/Direct Mail for a Builder/Developer—Collins Design-Build, Inc. Best New Homes Publication—New Homes & Ideas Magazine (also a member of the HBA of Raleigh-Wake Co.) Best Color Ad, Full page or under—Collins Design-Build, Inc.
HBA of Hickory-Catawba Valley Special Project-Marketing—RT Marketing inc. for the Southern Lawnscapes branding campaign
HBA of Northeastern NC Best HBA Communication- Single Piece—HBA of Northeastern NC for “The Drawing Board” monthly newsletter
Surry Co. HBA Best Landscape Design—Marty Needham Construction Co.
HBA of Raleigh-Wake Co. Best Newsletter for a Community—Ammons Development Group for the Heritage community Best Logo Design for a Builder/Developer—Terramor Homes Best Logo Design for a Community—Ammons Development Group for the Heritage community Best Billboard—Terramor Homes Best Radio Commercial or Project—Terramor Homes for their “Homes with a Touch” radio ad Best Internet Website for a Community—Ammons Development Group for the Heritage community Best HBA Parade of Homes Publication—HBA of Raleigh-Wake Co. Best HBA Community Project for a large HBA—Remodelers Council of the HBA of Raleigh-Wake Co. for the George to the Rescue Renovation Best HBA Event or Special Project for a large HBA—HBA of Raleigh-Wake Co. for the Operation Coming Home Hero Home Finale
Wilmington-Cape Fear HBA Best HBA Government Affairs Initiative—Wilmington-Cape Fear HBA for work with NCHBA on House Bill 750 to clarify management of stormwater systems after a building project is complete
HBA of Winston-Salem Best Newsletter for a Builder/Developer—Topsider Homes Best HBA Communication- Campaign—HBA of Winston-Salem for their “Build with Professionals” campaign Best HBA Membership Directory—HBA of Winston-Salem
Statewide Best Television Commercial—PSNC Energy for the “Value of Gas” TV Campaign (Member of the Asheville, Franklin Co., Gaston Co., Hendersonville, Iredell, Cabarrus, Vance-Granville, and Lake Norman HBAs)
Lake Norman HBA Best Interior Merchandising for a model with a sales price under $250,000—Carolina Spaces LLC for the Laurel Glen Mountain Cabin (also a member of Charlotte HBA and York Co. SC HBA)
Four receive college scholarships Tyler Brooks
Congratulations to the following recipients of scholarships from the NC Home Builders Educational & Charitable Foundation Inc. in 2011. Tyler Brooks is majoring in Construction Management at Appalachian State University. He is the son of Tony Gilbert, a member of the Cleveland Co. HBA. Brooks received a $1,500 scholarship. Jeremiah Gilbert is majoring in Building Science and Appropriate Technology at Appalachian State University. He is the son of Odie Gilbert, a member of the Ashe Co. HBA. Gilbert received a $3,000 scholarship. Zack Isenhour, whose father Greg Isenhour is a member of the HBA of Durham, Orange & Chatham Cos. HBA, received a $3,000 scholarship. He is majoring in Civil Engineering at UNC-Charlotte. Marty Needham, a member of the Surry Co. HBA, is majoring in Architecture at N.C. State University. He received a $3,000 scholarship. Scholarships are awarded by the North Carolina Home Builders Educational & Charitable Foundation Inc. to two or four-year college students majoring in a construction-related field.To be eligible for a scholarship, a student must be nominated by a NCHBA member firm; be an immediate family member, related by blood, of a NCHBA member; and be a full-time student taking a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester. Awards are for one year, but scholarship winners may submit a renewal application and be considered for renewal if they make satisfactory progress in their studies.The deadline for scholarship applications is April 30, 2012. Contact NCHBA for a nomination packet. North Carolina Builder 9
NCHBA recognizes fall NC Builder Institute graduates Accredited Builder Graduates Marilyn Bunce Bunce is president of Town and Country Building Co. in Onslow County. She is a member of the Onslow Co. HBA and is active on both the state and national levels. She has earned her NAHB Certified Green Builder and Graduate REALTOR Institute designations. Bunce will serve as Chair of the NC Professional Women in Building Council in 2012.You may contact Marilyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jeff Buchanan Buchanan is president of Buchanan Custom Homes in Morehead City, NC. Buchanan has also earned his NAHB Certified Green Professional designation. He currently serves as President of the Carteret Co. HBA and is actively involved with the NCHBA. You may contact Jeff at email@example.com.
Rick Gougeon Gougeon has been a licensed Residential Contractor and Real Estate Broker since 1992. In that time, Rick has attended many continuing education programs for NCRC and achieved MIRM status in 1993 from NAHB. Rick owns and operates Craftsman Handmade Homes, Inc., Craftsman Homes & Realty, LLC, and Couture Boatworks, LLC in Little Switzerland, NC. He is member of the HBA of Raleigh-Wake Co. You may contact Rick at Rick@ craftsmanhr.com.
James Overton Overton has over thirty years of experience in engineering; surveying; management; coordination; planning; design; and preparation of plans, specifications, & permit documents on numerous projects in the MidAtlantic region. He has been President of Albemarle & Associates since 1993. Overton is a licensed general contractor, land surveyor and professional engineer. He is a member of the Outer Banks and Northeastern North Carolina HBAs. You may contact James at JayO@albemarleassociates.com.
Randy Swift Swift owns and operates SwiftCreek Construction in Greensboro with his wife Joan.They are both licensed general contractors who constantly strive to build homes to exceed the minimum code requirements and building science principles. Randy has earned the NAHB Certified Green Professional designation and is a certified ENERGY STAR builder.You may contact Randy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Accredited Associate Graduate Judy Dinelle Dinelle is an associate member of the Asheville, Hendersonville and Haywood Co. HBAs and works at 84 Lumber. She has also earned her Certified Green Professional designation. Judy is actively involved in all levels of the federation and currently serves as an officer of the NC Professional Women in Building Council.You may contact Judy at email@example.com.
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Building industry met in Charlotte for
Expo & Conference
s The first annual Builders Beer Garden was a huge success. Extended floor hours on Thursday offered attendees more time to network with exhibitors.
ore than 2,100 home building industry professionals gathered Sept. 14-16 for the ninth annual 21st Century Building Expo & Conference. Builders, remodelers, architects and other professionals across the Southeast made the trip to Charlotte, N.C. to learn about new products and services for the residential construction industry at the two-day Expo. Attendees enjoyed learning about the latest trends and techniques during the three-day educational conference, which featured N.C. Builder Institute courses, NAHB courses and general session seminars. The 21CBEC would like to thank the exhibitors and sponsors for supporting the event and helping us provide an affordable, highquality tradeshow for builders in the Southeast. If you are interested in exhibiting your product or service in the 2012 21CBEC, please contact Tracie Garrett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-662-7129 for more information.
s The Expo Floor drew more than 2,100 industry professionals from throughout the Southeast.
s Nearly 250 students took part in the 3-Day Education Conference.
Mark your calendars!
The 2012 21CBEC will be Sept. 26-28 in Charlotte. Visit www.21buildingexpo.com for more information. Winter 2011
North Carolina Builder 11
Capitol Insider North Carolina General Assembly 2011 Session wrap-up by Lisa Martin, NCHBA Director of Government Affairs n Saturday, June 18, the North Carolina General Assembly completed its first major lawmaking session under Republican control for the first time in 140 years. The legislature spent nearly five months steering state government and policy on a conservative course after decades of Democratic rule. Insiders have dubbed the 2011 Session as the “Session of the Comprehensive Overhaul,” as major reforms were made in tort reform, workers’ compensation reform, medical malpractice liability reform and regulatory reform. NCHBA Government Affairs Staff was present every day of the 2011 Session to ensure that the interests of the home building industry were protected. Because of the wide range of issues that affect builders and their businesses, NCHBA closely tracked and was involved in many of the 1,731 bills introduced during the Session. A Republican-controlled legislature and a Democratic governor (with the constitutional power to veto legislation) made this year’s long session both historic and contentious. In all, 396 bills became law in only 87 days of work, but Governor Beverly Perdue vetoed a record 15 bills. In order to overcome her objections, the General Assembly returned for a special session on July 13 and during the week of July 25 to override six of the Governor’s vetoes. Also in the 2011 Session, the legislature spent a great deal of time drafting, debating and receiving public comment on new maps forming both Congressional and Legislative districts for the next decade based on data gathered in the 2010 U.S. Census. The maps are awaiting approval from either the court system or the U.S. Department of Justice. It is anticipated that whether approved or not, the maps will be the subject of lawsuits and could end up delaying elections in 2012. NCHBA staff will continue to monitor any additional special sessions scheduled by the General Assembly and will also monitor the various study committees that meet in the interim. The following is a summary of legislation that affected the home building industry in 2011.
Building Code Legislation During the summer and fall of 2010, the NC Building Code Council considered changes to the 2012 energy code that would 12 North Carolina Builder
have mandated a number measures designed to increase residential energy efficiency by 30 percent. While NCHBA members are not opposed to measures that improve residential energy efficiency, we successfully lobbied against this particular proposal because of its detrimental impact on housing affordability and the Building Code Council’s lack of authority to mandate measures that are not related to health and safety. In subsequent negotiations with the Governor, NCHBA agreed to a compromise that called for the adoption of the 2009 International Residential Energy Code requirements (which increase residential energy efficiency by approximately 15 percent) if the resulting increase in the cost of housing— approximately $3,000—could be offset by eliminating existing code requirements. Honoring the compromise we made with the Governor’s office, NCHBA lobbied for legislation that would make the effective dates of the new energy code and the adopted offsets the same. S 708 Building Code Rules/ Effective Dates, introduced by Sens. Ralph Hise (R-Avery), Tommy Tucker (R-Union) and Stan White (D-Beaufort), authorizes the new NC Energy Conservation Code amendments adopted by Building Code Council in December 2010 to become effective on January 1, 2012, and mandatory on March 1, 2012, while providing that certain existing building code provisions proposed by NCHBA and repealed by the Council in April 2011, which offset the costs of the new energy requirements, become effective also on January 1, 2012. S.L.2011-269. The Town of Carrboro was interested in implementing the 2012 Residential Code and 2012 Energy Code earlier than the proposed effective dates and tried to get adopt the codes by ordinance by H 504 Carrboro Building Codes, introduced by Reps. Verla Insko (D-Orange) and Joe Hackney (D-Orange). NCHBA opposed this effort, arguing that the state has a statewide building code so localities should not be granted authority over code issues. As a result, the bill was assigned to the Rules Committee, and no action was taken before the crossover deadline. Sen. Neal Hunt (R-Wake) introduced S 683 Residential Building Inspections this session in an attempt to curb overly aggressive rental registration programs. When NCHBA learned that there was a lack in uniformity
in building code inspections required by jurisdictions, Senator Hunt’s bill seemed like a logical vehicle for a quick fix to the problem. NCHBA proposed to limit those inspections allowed under the building code to only those expressly written, but allow a locality to petition the NC Building Code Council for any additional inspections they deemed a legitimate safety concern. The bill passed the Senate, but the N.C. League of Municipalities opposed the bill, saying the inspections were necessary for public safety. As a result, the whole bill was in jeopardy of not passing. In deference to our friends at the N.C. Association of Realtors who had been working on rental registration limits for several years, NCHBA withdrew our language from S 683. The bill passed and became law. NCHBA will pursue corrective language to the inspections problem in the 2012 short session.
Construction and Business Legislation NCHBA is made up primarily of small business owners; therefore the Association is concerned about the wide range of issues that face the business community in general. Along with issues particular to home building, NCHBA worked closely with a large coalition of business interests on issues pertaining to construction and business, such as workers’ compensation reform, tort reform and regulatory reform. The session started out with a quick and decisive NCHBA victory with the passage of H 92 (Repeal Land Transfer Tax), effective on March 31, 2011. Primary sponsors of the bill were Reps. Julia Howard (R-Davie), Edgar Starnes (R-Caldwell), and freshmen Reps. Bill Brawley (R-Mecklenburg) and Jonathan Jordan (R-Ashe). H92 also had 45 cosponsors, four of whom were Democrats. S.L. 2011-18. NCHBA, the N.C. Chamber of Commerce and N.C. Retail Merchants Association led a business coalition of more than 80 businesses and organizations to the first comprehensive workers’ compensation reform in almost two decades. H 709/S 544 (Protect and Put NC Back to Work) was sponsored by Reps. Dale Folwell (R-Forsyth), Nelson Dollar (R-Wake), Mike Hager (R-Rutherford) and Jim Crawford (D-Granville) and Sens. Harry Brown (R-Onslow), Tom Apodaca (R-Henderson) and Jim Davis (R-Cherokee). Key provisions Winter 2011
in the bill include Industrial Commission reform, a cap on temporary total disability payments, a redefinition of “suitable employment” to encourage return to work, and improved employer access to employee medical records. S.L. 2011-287 In another example of success in numbers, NCHBA participated with numerous business groups to secure passage of tort reform legislation. Sponsored by Reps. Jonathan Rhyne (R-Lincoln), Danny McComas (R-New Hanover), William Brisson (R-Bladen) and Jim Crawford (D-Granville), H 542 (Tort Reform for Citizens & Business) establishes that plaintiffs will be limited to evidence of actual medical expenses paid (not billed), reforms expert witness testimony, limits attorneys’ fees where damages awarded are less than $20,000, and codifies case law regarding landowner responsibility to trespassers. S.L.2011-283 H 36 (Employers and Local Governments Must Use E-Verify), sponsored by Representatives Harry Warren (R-Rowan), George Cleveland (R-Onslow) and Dale Folwell (R-Forsyth), requires all employers in the state with more than 25 employees to use the E-Verify system for new hires and gives enforcement responsibility to the N.C. Department of Labor. Tiered effective dates give smaller companies more time to adjust to the provisions. E-Verify is a free, internet-based system that enables employers to use information provided on an I-9 form to determine the work eligibility for that employee. NCHBA will be working over the next several months to provide additional information to our members about how to use the E-Verify system. Competition from unlicensed contractors has been a problem for several years, particularly in Western North Carolina. This year, NCHBA was able to get HB 648/ SB 708 (Improve Enforcement/General Contractor Laws)—sponsored by Reps. Kelly Hastings (R-Cleveland) and Mike Hager (R-Rutherford) and Sens. Ralph Hise (R-Avery), Tommy Tucker (R-Union) and Stan White (D-Dare)—passed that will reform general contractor licensing law to end abuse of the homeowner exception. The abuse arises when an unlicensed contractor solicits an owner to “pull the permit” when the unlicensed contractor will actually superintend and manage the project for the owner. Abuse of the “owner exception” creates an uneven playing field and deprives the owner of recourse to the N.C. Licensing Board for General Contractors should problems arise in or from the construction process. The bill also extends the period from two years to four years for a general Winter 2011
contractor’s inactive license to be renewed without retaking exam. S. L. 2011-376 NCHBA strongly supported H 687 (Attorney Fees/City or County Action Outside Authority) sponsored by Reps. Bill Brawley (R-Mecklenburg), Tim Moffitt (R-Buncombe), Stephen LaRoque (R-Lenoir) and Harold Brubaker (R-Randolph). H 687 states that upon a finding that the city or county acted outside the scope of its legal authority in a lawsuit that the city or county is party, the court may award attorneys fees and costs to the party who successfully challenges the action. In addition, if the court finds that the city
or county action was an abuse of authority, then the award of attorney’s fees and costs is mandatory. S.L.2011-299 Taking advantage of the shift in leadership, NCHBA joined a coalition of housing and disability rights advocates seeking a permanent source of funding for the NC Housing Trust Fund. S 462/H 574 (Distribution Modification to Excise Tax on Conveyances) sponsored by Sens. Debbie Clary (R-Cleveland), Rick Gunn (R-Alamance) and Eric Mansfield (D-Cumberland) and Representatives Larry Hall (D-Durham), Ric Killian (R-Mecklenburg), Rodney (See CAPITOL INSIDER on page 14)
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North Carolina Builder 13
Capitol Insider (continued from page 13) Moore (D-Mecklenburg) and Alma Adams (D-Guilford) would modify the distribution of proceeds from the existing excise tax on conveyances to include a dedicated revenue stream for the NC Housing Trust Fund that will provide housing resources to some of North Carolina’s most vulnerable populations, without the need for annual appropriations. S462 will also correct an historical inequity. While there is significant support for S462 conceptually, more education of members is needed to overcome distortions by opponents. Neither bill made the crossover deadline; however, thanks to Senate sponsor Debbie Clary, the Joint Program Evaluation Committee voted to study this proposal and report on the fiscal implications of S 462 prior to the 2012 short session. S 462 will be a top priority for NCHBA in the short session. In an effort to spur a demand-side economic stimulus for the state’s housing industry, NCHBA proposed the creation of a $10,000 state tax credit for new home purchases. This measure was the topic of H 485/S 476 (New Home Purchase Stimulus) sponsored by Reps. Harold Brubaker (R-Randolph), Mitch Gillespie (R-McDowell), Linda Johnson (R-Cabarrus) and Jeff Barnhart (R-Cabarrus) and Senator Tom Apodaca (R-Henderson). Both the House and Senate bills enjoyed strong bipartisan support. While the House leadership was favorably inclined to enact the credit, we were unable to get the Senate leadership on board. Not wishing to risk harming sales of existing inventory while the proposal faced an uncertain fate, the bills were withdrawn from further consideration. NCHBA opposed two Republican sponsored bills that would have negatively impacted home builders. The first, H 30 (Allow Wage Garnishment to Satisfy Judgments) sponsored by Rep. Tim Moore (R-Cleveland), would have created new procedures whereby employers would be required to garnish employee wages to satisfy judgments, creating a significant burden for the business community. After opposition from business groups, the bill was amended to restrict garnishment to only judgments obtained for violation of the unfair or deceptive trade practice act. As a result, NCHBA no longer opposes this bill. H30 passed the House and resides in the Senate Judiciary II Committee. The second bill, H 489 (Mechanics Lien and Bond Law Changes) sponsored by Reps. Gaston Pridgen (R-Hoke), Paul Stam (R-Wake) and Grier Martin (D-Wake), 14 North Carolina Builder
would have resulted in a radical rewrite of lien laws and would have reduced protections currently in the law for general contractors, subcontractors and suppliers. Construction industry groups opposed the bill and it was converted to a study. The topic of mechanics lien and bond law changes was included in H 773 (Studies Act of 2011) as an authorized study by the Legislative Research Commission; however, the status of the Studies Act is uncertain.
Property Rights & Land Use Legislation NCHBA succeeded in correcting two problems with current zoning law. H 806 (Zoning Statute of Limitation/Agricultural District Change) sponsored by Reps. Jonathan Jordan (R-Ashe), Paul Stam (R-Wake), Sarah Stevens (R-Surry) and Tim Moffitt (R-Buncombe) restores to landowners a fair opportunity to challenge illegal or unconstitutional zoning ordinances adopted by local governments and makes it clear that the General Assembly’s exclusion of ten or more acre lots from subdivision regulation applies equally to back-door efforts to regulate the same land through the use of the zoning statutes that prohibit residential use. H 806 preserves the two month statute of limitations for contesting the adoption or amendment of a zoning map or the approval of a special use, conditional use, and conditional zoning district rezoning request, and creates a new one-year statute of limitations for actions contesting the validity of the text of any zoning or unified development ordinance or amendment thereto. The bill further clarifies that this action accrues when the party bringing the action first has standing to challenge the ordinance. This new statute of limitations applies both to cities and counties. In addition, H 806 clarifies that counties may not regulate “through the back door” what they cannot regulate “through the front door.” The General Assembly long ago created exclusion to the power granted to local governments to regulate the subdivision of land. GS 153A-335(a)(2) excludes from regulation of the division of land into parcels greater than 10 acres if no street right-of-way dedication is required. Recognizing that this limitation of subdivision power would not allow them to prohibit a landowner from creating lots greater than 10 acres in order to build a residence on such lots, two counties turned to their zoning power to accomplish the same result either by forbidding residential use of lots of any size in rural/agricultural
districts or by prohibiting residential use of lots that do not meet standards normally found in subdivision ordinances.This is unjust and is not what the General Assembly intended and is now prohibited under H 806. S.L. 2011-384. Since 2009, NCHBA has attempted to enact legislation that would end local government abuse of development moratoria. Use of moratoria shifts the costs of addressing a public concern to private individuals who pay extraordinary costs. Session Law 2005-426 authorized local governments to enact moratoria, but limited their use. Local governments have abused the authority granted to them and, as such, NCHBA sought to clarify when local governments could use moratoria. NCHBA proposed H 332 (Clarify Development Moratoria), sponsored by Reps. Grey Mills (R-Iredell), Ric Killian (RMecklenburg), Jim Crawford (D-Granville) and Susi Hamilton (D-New Hanover), which prevents local governments from using moratoria as a planning tool by prohibiting moratoria on residential uses. S.L.2011-286. NCHBA members asked for assistance in modifying the state’s Transportation Corridor Official Map Act; thus, NCHBA proposed SB 214 (Transportation Map Corridors/Condemnation) sponsored by Sens. Thom Goolsby (R-New Hanover), Clark Jenkins (D-Edgecombe) and Bill Rabon (R-Brunswick). Under S 214, developers are no longer required to file an official plan to the local jurisdiction; instead, they will submit a request for a “corridor map determination,” which shall only require basic information (no expensive engineered plans). This bill does not alleviate any type of local government approval process with regard to development applications; it only changes the trigger requirement as to when the three year reservation period begins once an Official Corridor Map has been recorded. S.L. 2011-242. Local governments, without specific statutory authority, place urban design mandates on single-family housing using zoning and other police powers, which result in increased housing costs and often prices citizens out of the local market. NCHBA members cited widespread use of unauthorized design requirements and for this reason, abolishing this practice became one of NCHBA’s top priorities this session. NCHBA introduced S 731 (Zoning/Design and Aesthetic Controls) sponsored by Sen. Dan Clodfelter (D-Mecklenburg). S 731 clarifies that zoning ordinance regulations on non-structural building design elements Winter 2011
such as exterior building color, exterior ornamentation, door or window styling or requirements for specific floor plans, may not be applied to residential structures in zoning districts with less than five dwelling units per acre. The bill passed the Senate and remains eligible for consideration in the 2012 short session. NCHBA will spend the “off season” educating House members why S 731 is important. S731 will be a top legislative priority for NCHBA in the short session. NCHBA supported H 652 (Property Owners Protection Act) sponsored by Reps. Tim Moffitt (R-Buncombe), Harold Brubaker (R-Randolph), Bill Brawley (R-Mecklenburg) and Danny McComas (R-New Hanover). The bill codifies NC appellate court decisions stating that all statutes, ordinances, rules and regulations that affect the free use of land shall be strictly construed against the government and in favor of the free use of land. Also, when a landowner successfully prevails in a lawsuit challenging a statute, ordinance, rule or regulation that impairs the free use of land policy, the court shall award attorneys fees. Finally, H 652 also provides that attorney fees are to be awarded to landowner, if necessary, to establish or preserve a vested property right. H 652 was converted to a study and the fate of this bill remains uncertain. NCHBA also supported two bills that would have provided relief to property owners in the Neuse and Tar Pamlico River basins. S 623 (Riparian Buffer Rule Exception) introduced by Sens. Jean Preston (R-Carteret) and Harry Brown (R-Onslow) would create an exemption to the riparian buffer requirements for certain private properties platted and recorded prior to the August 1, 2000, the effective date of the Neuse and Tar Pam buffer rules. S 623 did not pass as a stand-alone bill, but DENR is directed to study this issue and limited relief is granted to landowners who meet certain conditions as set forth in Section 17 of HB 119 (Amend Environmental Laws 2011). In addition, S 623 was reassigned to the Senate Agriculture and Environment Committee and action on the bill may occur in 2012. A second bill dealing with properties affected by the Neuse and Tar Pamlico buffer requirements is H 116/S 232 (Delineate Coastal Wetland Riparian Buffers), introduced by Rep. Leo Daughtry (R-Johnston)and Sen. David Rouzer (R-Johnston). H 116 is similar to S 632 but applies to properties in Neuse and Tar Pamlico River basins that were platted and recorded after the August 1, 2000, buffer rule effective date. H 116 was heard in the House Environment Committee and amended to include provisions for allowing single-family Winter 2011
residential development to encroach on coastal wetland buffers. We are not certain whether action will occur on this bill in the short session.
Environment and Energy Legislation NCHBA led broad business coalition in proposing and lobbying for sweeping regulatory reform changes including changes in the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) with respect to rulemaking and administrative hearings. As a result, one of the most important pieces of legislation passed in the 2011 session was S 781 (Regulatory Reform Act of 2011) sponsored by Senators David Rouzer (R-Johnston) and Harry Brown (R-Onslow). Highlights of S 781 include: provisions to end abuse of rulemaking; requires rules to be based on “sound, reasonable available scientific, technical, economic “ information; requires rules to be designed to achieve the regulatory objective in “a cost-effective and timely manner”; prohibits DENR rules from imposing a more restrictive standard, limitation or requirement than imposed by federal law or rule; requires agencies to prepare fiscal notes where financial impact on all persons affected is $500,000 in a 12-month period (was $3 million) and requires fiscal notes to be prepared in advance of rules being published for public comment; makes agencies propose two alternatives to the rule and requires disclosure as to the reasons for rejecting the alternatives; reforms the contested case procedure to make the decision of the administrative law judge final (removing the ability of the agency to be final decision-maker in a contested case); allows citizens the right to obtain declaratory rulings “to resolve a conflict or inconsistency within an agency regarding an interpretation of a law or rule” with the ability to seek judicial review if the agency does not respond to the request within 45 days; and extends certain state environmental permits to be valid for 8 years (rather than the current 5 years). S 781 passed, but was vetoed by the Governor on June 30, 2011. The House and Senate overrode her veto and the law is now S.L. 2011-398. NCHBA supported this year’s omnibus bill making changes to existing environmental laws, H 119 (Amend Environmental Laws 2011) sponsored by Reps. Mitch Gillespie (R-McDowell) and Pat McElraft (R-Carteret). Changes include: directing DENR study riparian buffer rule administration in Neuse and Tar Pam River basins; directing the EMC to develop model stormwater capture and reuse practices; clarifying that nutrient offset payments shall reflect actual costs as adopted by EMC; delaying certain Jordan Lake rule requirements; and establishing a variance process for certain water supply well setback requirements. S.L. 2011-394.
After responding to members who had difficulty transferring stormwater devices to the homeowners association for that community, NCHBA worked with representatives from DENR, the NC Chapter of the Community Associations Institute and the bill sponsor Rep. Danny McComas to introduce H 750 (Stormwater Best Management Responsibility/Association). H 750 clarifies the process for transfer of stormwater devices from developers to the HOA. S.L.2011-256. Several water and sewer authorities and sanitary districts have adopted fees and charges on development that are unfair and legally questionable. As such, NCHBA requested H 708/S 564 (Study Water & Sewer Service Providers) sponsored by Reps. Susi Hamilton (D-New Hanover), Patsy Keever (D-Buncombe) and Rodney Moore (D-Mecklenburg) and Sen. Dan Clodfelter (D-Mecklenburg). H 708/S 564 examines the reduction and consolidation of the various statutory models for establishing, operating and financing water and sewer authority across the state. This topic was converted to a study and the fate remains unclear. NCHBA supported S 425 (Ecosystem Enhancement Program Changes) sponsored by Senator Neal Hunt (R-Wake), which reforms DENR’s compensatory mitigation banking program. S.L.2011-343.
Conclusion It is safe to say the 2011 was the most successful session on record for the business community generally and for NCHBA more specifically.The secret of NCHBA’s success, however, has been and always will be the leadership of its Executive Committee, the hard work of our lobbying team, the support of our members, and the invaluable help from legislators who support the home building industry. While North Carolina struggles to overcome the economic woes of the last few years, it is even more important for NCHBA to guard against policies and laws that impose an additional barrier to home ownership and affordable housing. We must also ensure that our champions and friends in the General Assembly remain in office and assume positions of leadership and responsibility. The most effective way NCHBA members can help preserve home ownership and viability is to contribute to NC BUILD-PAC to ensure that those elected and reelected to the General Assembly and to local offices understand and appreciate the importance of the home building industry to the economy and quality of life in our state. Together, NCHBA and its members have made and will continue to make a difference for future generations of North Carolinians striving to attain the American Dream of home ownership! North Carolina Builder 15
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