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Fighting the Regulatory Battle

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE: 2009 Community Service Awards

New fangled stuff. Old-fashioned service. Vintage provides innovative technologies to make homes safe and enhance lifestyles. Call us for security systems, home theatre, whole house music systems, home automation, and structured wiring.

Contact Rick Brokaw or Bob Hartwick 1-877-767-1800 Offices in Jessup, MD and Chantilly, VA

Maryland-National Capital Building Industry Association 1738 Elton Road, Suite 200 Silver Spring, MD 20903 Phone (301) 445-5400 Fax (301) 445-5499 E-mail: Website:


IN MARYLAND AND WASHINGTON, DC Representing Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St Mary’s counties in Maryland and Washington, DC

2010 Executive Committee Edward (Guy) R. Curley, III President

Frank Bossong, IV P.E., Associate Vice President

Jim Kettler Vice President/Calvert Co.

Steve Nardella Treasurer

Doug Meeker Vice President/Charles Co.

Dave Lunden Vice President, State Legislative/ Secretary

Robert J. Spalding Vice President/Montgomery Co.


Robert A. Jacobs Life Director

Marty Mitchell Vice President/Prince George’s Co.

Thomas M. Farasy Immediate Past President


John B. Norris, III Vice President/St. Mary’s Co.

Stephen P. Elmendorf Legal Counsel


Brian (A.J.) Jackson Vice President/Washington, DC

Diane K. Swenson CAE, Executive Vice President

Regulation Rush The Regulatory Battle Begins


2010 Leadership Team Takes Office Another Challenging Year Ahead


MNCBIA Winter Ball Gowns and Galoshes


2009 Community Service Awards The Industry Gives Back

2010 Board of Directors Bill Bilo Hillary Colt Cahan Mike Conley Tony Crane Timothy Dugan Ken Dunn Andrea Leahy-Fucheck Robert Harris Howard Katz Gary Kret David Little Charlene F. Parker-Thayer Stephen Paul

Nanci Porten Karen Radisch Marc Rose Andy Rosenthal Gary Rubino Ronald Rymer Ted Smart Ray Sobrino Clark Wagner Peggy White Bryan Whittington Carter Willson


MNCBIA Staff Executive Vice President - Diane K. Swenson, JD, CAE Communications Manager - Kelly H. Grudziecki Financial Services Manager - Linda Groft Director of Government Affairs - F. Hamer Campbell, Jr. Associate Director/Government Affairs Raquel Montenegro Associate Director/Regulatory Affairs Annette T. Rosenblum Membership Manager - Debi Turpin Member Services Manager - Samantha Ager Program Manager - Builders Development Guaranty Group Debi Turpin Program Manager - Home Builders Care Foundation Patricia B. Kane

Published for: Maryland-National Capital Building Industry Association 1738 Elton Road, Suite 200 Silver Spring, Maryland 20903 301 445-5400 Fax: 301 445-5499 E-mail: Website:



Publisher: Christopher Hodges Editor: Catherine Jones Project Manager: Jason Dolder Publication Director: Jason Ruppert Marketing: Heather Zimmerman Advertising Art: Gregg Paris Layout and Design: Bill Kitson


A Message from the President of MNCBIA


The Legal Pad


The Engineer’s Angle


MNCBIA Membership News


Index of Advertisers


Published by:

Naylor, LLC 5950 N.W. 1st Place Gainesville, FL 32607 800 369-6220 352 332-1252 Fax: 352 332-3331 Website:


Published February 2010 /MNC-S0210/9844 Cover photo Credit:




Regulation, Regulation, Regulation! or decades the three most important words in the real estate business were LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. In 2010, it appears the name, game and playing field have changed and the newest threat to the local and regional housing industry’s security is – REGULATION, REGULATION and REGULATION! It appears we are now being penalized for owning property in the right LOCATIONS. The industry has had its fair share of negative regulation in the past, but the sheer number of regulations we face this year is mind-boggling. I am extremely troubled that in an election year the elected officials are not concentrating on creating jobs and solving the housing crisis. The housing market must be an integral part of the economic recovery and that is the message we need to send to each and every elected official. The county and state budgets will not improve until new housing starts increase. While there are some signs of housing recovery around the Beltway, the market is extremely fragile. Any one or two of the proposed changes being put forward could stop the progress we have made over the past year. Two powerful associations, MNCBIA and HBAM, have joined forces to help mitigate the effects of the proposed legislation and regulations, and together are highly focused on the impacts of the May 2010 implementation date for the Storm Water Regulations. Specifically, MNCBIA and its partners are lobbying for changes in the Storm Water Regulations in three broad areas – Grandfathering, Redevelopment and areas where the regulation went beyond the 2007 Storm Water Act. As a member of MNCBIA YOU CAN HELP! First, you can brush up on your local building industry stats by reading through NAHB’s latest study, The Economic Impact of Homebuilding in Maryland. A summary, along with the full report, can be found on the “Housing Research” page at Then you can call, email and talk to all your elected officials and let them know we need relief now, not more regulation. You can take time to respond to all future MNCBIA legislative alerts during this session. You can write a personal letter to all your Delegates and Senators letting them know how many employees you had two years ago and how many you have now. One of my top goals this year is to have every member bring in at least one new member. When you read this message today please call one non-member you do business with and encourage him or her to join. If we can achieve this simple goal then we will have the members and monies to win most of the battles for the year.


Edward R. Curley, III




Is The Housing Industry Under Siege By Our State And Federal Elected Officials? You Be The Judge! Proposed Maryland Regulations ❑ Storm Water regulation implementation ❑ Storm Water redevelopment policy issues ❑ Erosion and Sediment Control draft regulation/technical standards ❑ Maryland NPDES re-opener modifications ❑ Controlled Hazardous Substance draft regulations ❑ State Highway Administration entranceway draft regulations ❑ New Home Third Party Warranty draft regulations ❑ Advanced energy efficiency construction requirements

Maryland Legislation ❑ Storm Water transition ❑ Storm Water user fees ❑ Impervious surface tax ❑ Statewide advanced septic system requirement ❑ Visitability requirement for single-family homes ❑ Green Building Standards for residential construction ❑ Broader application of wind standard building codes ❑ Variances/waivers for 30-inch tree forest conservation ❑ Permit tolling extension and possible expansion ❑ VMT (Vehicle Miles Traveled) transportation planning ❑ Rehabilitation tax credit ❑ Combined reporting corporate tax expansion ❑ Smart Growth Task Force extension ❑ Smart Growth transportation initiative ❑ Community Land Trusts

Federal Regulation ❑ EPA Effluent Limitation Guidelines (state implementation) ❑ EPA Baywide TMDL ❑ Federal Executive Order Initiative

Federal Legislation ❑ Cardin/Cummings Bay Clean up and Reauthorization Act Be sure to read this column in each issue for our regular update indicating what has been enacted, withdrawn or amended, and most importantly, what you can do to help! Cheers! & Sláinte! /slaan-cheh/ “To Your Health!”

REGULATION RUSH Homebuilders Brace for the Onslaught of New Regulations By Michael Fickes re you ready? Come May 4 of this year Maryland’s new stormwater management regulations as amended by local governments take effect along with new erosion and sediment control regulations. Soon after, federal regulations aiming to manage the cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay will show up in a draft ready for comments. “We have two state issues and one federal issue clamping down on our industry all at once,” says Guy Curley, president of Liberty Home Builder and 2010 president of the Maryland-National Capital Building Industry Association. Combined with increasing impact fees, land use limits, other environmental restrictions and the “Great Recession,” the region’s homebuilders are facing huge challenges. Here’s a rundown of key provisions in the new regulations.


Stormwater Management Regulations The new stormwater management regulations will overthrow a number of best management practices — such as retention ponds —that builders have incorporated. BUILDING IN MARYLAND AND WASHINGTON, DC | MARCH /APRIL 2010


“The new regulations call for retention above ground instead of underground,” says Raquel Montenegro, MNCBIA’s associate director of government affairs overseeing Montgomery County and Washington, DC. “The rules also require the use of small stormwater facilities spread around properties.” The upshot is that stormwater management must by and large occur on site employing, in the words of the statute, “environmental site design (ESD)” to the “maximum extent possible.” Montenegro suspects that the new rules will produce more designs with green roofs or collection systems below downspouts that filter the water and prepare it for reuse. More such systems means higher costs for managing stormwater. “The new stormwater rules could reduce development densities by as much as 20 percent,” says Curley. Builders receiving final approval of stormwater management plans before May 4 will not feel this effect. Those without final approval will; they will have to start from the beginning. Worse, no grandfathering provision will enable phased developments already under construction to escape the new rules. “Suppose I have installed an approved site-wide stormwater management system during Phase I construction,” says Montenegro. “If by May 4, however, I haven’t begun Phase II or III, the entire site becomes subject to the new regulations and I have to redo the stormwater management plan and bring it into compliance.” In addition, the new rules require more stormwater facilities, which eat up square footage and reduce density.

“That can affect your loan,” Curley says. “If you have a construction loan, and your property is suddenly worth 20 percent less, your banker may ask for more equity. If you can’t pay, the bank could pull the loan.” “And even if the bank continues to provide credit, you are still looking at a project promising 20 percent less in revenue. That may make it unfeasible.” The new rules will affect redevelopment too. When redeveloping a property, developers must control 50 percent of the stormwater runoff while adhering to new regulations. “This will restrain redevelopment especially around transit stations,” says Tom Farasy, president of Terra Verde Communities and the 2010 president of the Maryland State Builders Association in Annapolis.

Erosion And Sediment Control As builders struggle to understand the impact of the new stormwater management rules, they are also trying to grasp revisions being made to existing erosion and sediment control regulations, which are being pushed through the system quickly so they can accompany the stormwater rules going into effect on May 4. “There was little vetting of these rules, which came out last October and provided about three weeks for comments,” Farasy says. “This is a 340-page document that makes extensive revisions to existing rules.” Separately, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a pre-publication version of new effluent limitations guidelines (ELGs) and new source performance standards (NSPS) late last year. These

What If There Were No Impact Fees? Late last year, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) in Washington, DC, issued a two-part impact study: The Economic Impact of Home Building in Maryland: Income, Jobs and Taxes Generated and Comparing Costs to Revenue for State and Local Governments. Both studies conclude that the home building industry generates substantial economic benefits for Maryland — and would generate substantial benefits for the state even without impact fees. The first study estimates the impact of building 100 single-family homes in Maryland. In the first year, the results would include $33.7 million in new income and 438 new jobs for Marylanders. In addition, state and local governments would receive about $7 million in taxes and other revenue. In each succeeding year, that 100-home development would generate $5 million in income for Marylanders and 72 jobs. State and local governments would receive $1.3 million in taxes and other revenue.



The second part of the study compares state and local government revenues and costs and calculates the benefits that the homebuilding industry offers governments. In it, the authors adjusted the state and local government revenue generated by 100 single-family homes from $7 million, which the first study reported, to $7.7 million to estimate a reasonable occupancy rate for the new houses. The authors estimated costs totaling about $3.7 million in the first year. Subtracting the costs from revenues of $7.7 million would net about $4 million for state and local governments in the first year. On a recurring basis for the next 14 years, state and local revenues of $1.343 million would leave net revenues of just over $139,000 — except for year 11, when a capital investment of $30,500 would reduce the net to $108,900. After 15 years, total revenues would reach $26.5 million compared to $20.6 million in total costs, leaving a net benefit for Maryland’s state and local governments of $5.9 million.


“One key lesson offered by these studies is that impact fees are not necessary,” says Marty Mitchell, CEO of Rockville-based Mitchell & Best Homebuilders, LLC. “The study used an average impact fee of $11,000 per unit. If you multiply $11,000 by 100, impact fees would total $1.1 million. If you subtract $1.1 million from the net benefit noted above, Maryland’s state and local governments would still net $4.8 million over the 15 year period.” But in fact Maryland builds many more than 100 houses per year. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the state on average issues 22,000 homebuilding permits per year. If 100 houses built without impact fees nets $4.8 million over 15 years, then 22,000 houses will net 220 times $4.8 million or just over $1 billion over 15 years. That’s substantial. On the basis of these studies, Mitchell and other builders are suggesting that Maryland lawmakers develop a state tax credit and eliminate impact fees as a way to stimulate the housing industry, create jobs and boost local government revenues.

federal regulations deal with erosion and sediment control measures to be implemented at construction sites. According to Farasy, consulting engineers associated with residential construction are pouring over the state erosion and sediment control changes and trying to divine how they may affect homebuilding companies. The next step will be vetting the federal regulations and comparing them to the state’s take on the issue.

Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Last fall, Maryland Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski proposed a bill that would extend $1.5 billion in new financing to clean up the Chesapeake Bay while enacting legislative controls over the cleanup process. Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummins has introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives. Farasy and other developers have attended the hearings held on the Bay Cleanup bill so far, and along with the Maryland State Builders Association, have submitted extensive comments on the legislation. The industry expects the Senate version to be the subject of a Senate hearing soon. The legislation will affect homebuilders through a section dealing with total maximum daily load (TMDL). According to the legislation, the “TMDL may not include any net increase in pollutant load from new/increased impervious surfaces and septic systems, such as those found in housing developments in Maryland.” The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is developing regulations that will govern TMDL as it relates to the housing industry.

2010 Leadership Team Takes Office dward (Guy) R. Curley, III, president of Liberty Home Builder, Inc., was installed as the 49th President of the MNCBIA at the Association general membership dinner on January 28 by Anthony J. O’Donnell, Minority Leader, Maryland House of Delegates. Maryland Delegate John F. Wood, Jr. installed the Executive Committee and Board of Directors. Guy’s goals as he heads into what is shaping up to be another tough year for our industry, encompass a number of important factors including continuing to advocate on the big state issues, ensuring that our grassroots lobbying efforts are maximized at the local and county levels and building our membership base. Assisting with those efforts are the men and women of our leadership team along with those dedicated members who make up our committees and councils, who are already hard at work strategizing on how to grow our membership numbers, developing new and exciting education programs and generating ideas for enjoyable networking events.


Pushback The industry is pushing back hard against these new regulations. While the state stormwater management and erosion and sediment control may be set in stone, Curley, Farasy and many others on the MNCBIA board, along with concerned members, have been holding regular meetings with state and federal officials in connection with all of these issues: the stormwater management grandfathering and renovation problems; the lack of transparency in the erosion and sediment control rules being worked up; and what the industry bills as unfair to homebuilders in the Bay cleanup legislation. In addition, the BIA hired analysts to review EPA’s data and determine specifically the impact of nitrogen from new developments compared to the impact from existing homes with increased fertilizing, and what they are doing to the Chesapeake Bay. “There are three main categories of pollutants that the Bay Cleanup bill focuses on: phosphorus, nitrogen and sediment,” Farasy says. “The only contribution that homebuilders make to phosphorous pollution is when we turn over ground with heavy equipment and expose phosphorus to run off. But this is a minor amount.” Farasy went on to say that nitrogen pollution comes from fertilizers used by farmers and homeowners that employ professional landscaping services, with literally no contribution coming from homebuilders. “We do contribute to sediment,” Farasy says. “And we want to do our share in cleaning up the Bay, especially what we contribute to pollution. But we want everyone involved paying a proportionate share of the cleanup cost. “Our biggest concern today is that the bills introduced to clean up the Bay do not treat those responsible in proportion to their contribution of pollutants. That’s not fair to us.” And that is the right place for the industry to pushback. BUILDING IN MARYLAND AND WASHINGTON, DC | MARCH /APRIL 2010


Snowstorm Does Not Stop Winter Ball he first snowstorm in the Washington Metro area started early in the morning of Saturday, December 5, the day of MNCBIA’s Winter Gala and Silent Auction. By 7:00pm that night there were three to six inches covering the ground. But rather than scaring people into staying home, the wintery mix put people in the holiday spirit and the party went on, bringing out a cozy crowd of nearly 130. An important part of BIA’s winter gala is Home Builders Care Foundation’s silent auction, from which all proceeds go to support HBCF’s ongoing shelter-related community service projects. More than 35 items were up for bid this year, and with a little something for everyone. There were football and hockey tickets for the sports fan and unique jewelry for the well adorned. For the techies there was a Kindle, a Wii, an iPod Nano and a Bose digital music system. For those aspiring musicians there was a Gibson acoustic guitar (congrats Ian Larkin). And there were gift baskets galore for gardeners, movie lovers, wine connoisseurs, home decorators and chefs. Thanks to the generosity of MNCBIA members, the auction brought in nearly $6,000 for Home Builders Care. A highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Joseph C. Rodgers Sr. Award for outstanding associate member of MNCBIA and the Milton E. Kettler Award for lifetime achievement. This year’s recipients were David L. Little, Gutschick, Little & Weber, P.A. taking home the Rodgers Award and Don Pleasants, Pleasants Development, Inc. winning the Kettler Award.





2009 Community Service Award Winners Honored he Home Builders Care Foundation (HBCF), the non-profit community outreach program affiliated with the Maryland National-Capital Building Industry Association (MNCBIA), announced its winners of the 2009 Community Service Awards at the association’s January dinner meeting. The awards are presented annually to individuals or companies affiliated with the local home building industry in recognition of significant contributions to the community through unselfish efforts and dedication in support of projects that help the poor and disadvantaged in our communities. Awards were presented in the following categories: The Community Builder Award—presented in recognition of a builder or associate member who helps raise awareness of the industry’s spirit of giving; The Directors Award—presented in recognition of leadership and advocacy for the mission and purpose of Home Builders Care; and the Tom Sawyer Award—presented in recognition of significant in-kind donations to HBCF’s shelter-related projects. GE Appliances was the first to be honored with a Community Builder Award and recognized for its support of HomeAid Washington DC’s first housing project at the Dunbar Apartments in NW Washington DC. Once vacant and abandoned, this renovated two-story building, owned and operated by Open Arms Housing, is now home to 16 mentally-ill and once chronically homeless women. In the spring of 2009, GE Consumer & Industrial supplied and delivered more than 90 of its kitchen appliance products to the Dunbar at a hefty discount. With a total retail value of just under $40,000, the total cost savings to HomeAid Washington DC was about 60 percent for a total inkind donation of $22,000. GE’s Dana Heideman attended the grand opening of the Dunbar and also gave of his time to help educate Open Arms staff on their new equipment. The second Community Builder Award was presented to Ruppert Nurseries. For the past four years, Ruppert has been a key sponsor of the annual Life is Good Pumpkin Festival in Clarksburg Town Center and has donated its resources and expertise. For the past three years, the Festival benefited HBCF’s own HomeAid Washington, DC chapter and its ongoing efforts to help families in need. This past June, Ruppert also stepped up


to help on the HomeAid DC project at the Dunbar Apartments. With only a few weeks to go before the project’s grand opening, Ruppert swooped in to transform the bare and neglected inner city yard space into a beautiful urban garden, donating delivery, labor, soil, fertilizer and mulch for the installation—an in-kind donation valued near $7,000. The Directors Award was presented to The William S. Abell Foundation, who in 2009 provided an $88,000 grant to launch the HomeAid Washington DC chapter. The Foundation was established in 1985 by William S. Abell and Patricia O’C. Abell to support qualified organizations in providing aid to people in need in the District of Columbia and nearby Maryland counties. The Abell Foundation’s grant to HomeAid Washington DC was earmarked specifically for permanent supportive housing projects as part of the foundation’s Strategic Initiative to End Homelessness. With this support Home Builders Care/HomeAid has been able to lend its expertise and resources to help create a total of 46 new units of permanent supportive housing chronically homeless persons with special needs in the District. Finally, the Tom Sawyer Award was presented to Mr. Ron Keefer in recognition of his nearly year-long, daily hands-on leadership and commitment to the addition project at the Home Builders Care Assessment Center, formerly called the Men’s Emergency Shelter in Rockville. The original 5,800 sq. ft. shelter was built by HBCF in 2000 to accommodate 100 beds. Since then, demand for shelter and comprehensive services for homeless individuals has increased dramatically. The new 3,700 sq. ft. addition provides space for 35 more beds and a range of new onsite services. Throughout construction, Mr. Keefer served as the project manager for Builder Captain Winchester Homes. Ron’s kindness, consideration and flexibility in working along side and with shelter staff and residents was admirable. As the project moved beyond final completion and Ron, unfortunately, separated from Winchester Homes, he continued to stay involved throughout the warranty period. We are honored by his ongoing commitment to serve. The cooperation, dedication and spirit of our 2009 Community Service Award Winners are excellent examples of why the Home Builders Care program succeeds in helping end homelessness by improving the lives of poor and homeless individuals and families in our communities.



The Legal Pad

The Green Scene in 2010 By Michelle R. Daley, Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A. lthough the home building industry has been struggling, the green building industry evolved and grew by leaps and bounds in 2009. Consumer interest in greening their lives has led to Energy Star homes accounting for nearly 17 percent of all homes built in 2009, and although the green building industry is still focused primarily on commercial construction and retrofitting—driven by government, private industry, and educational facilities—statistics show that the residential sector will begin to see more demand for environmentally-conscious construction. As a result of this “green” movement, much “green” legislation has surfaced in an attempt to quickly regulate this booming and profitable industry. Early last year, the Obama Administration and Congress passed the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act with more than $25 billion dedicated to “green” programs and the United States Green Building Council introduced the new LEED v. 3.0 rating system which, among other changes, introduced the concept of project de-certification. With many changes in a new frontier come uncertainty and a minefield of new liabilities. This year, green interests set their sights on storm water. The Environmental Protection Agency has announced that it will implement new storm water management requirements for homebuilders, which will not only place more significant burdens on the industry by requiring that storm water run-off from a construction site after a rainfall be nearly free of soil or sediment, but it will raise costs, while not effectively addressing water


quality and environmental issues, according to the National Association of Home Builders. The Maryland General Assembly will be addressing storm water user charges for impervious surfaces—a flat fee for homeowners that would be based on the area of paved surface. This legislation is part of a program called “Maryland 2010: Legislation for a Green Economy Protecting Maryland’s Water, Land and People.” Because of the onslaught of both federal and state “green” legislation, homebuilders must be extremely careful during contract drafting and keep a keen eye on risk avoidance; practice prudent marketing to avoid Consumer Protection Claims as the Federal Trade Commission, among others, are quickly promulgating environmental marketing guidelines; and weigh the return on investment through tax incentives. “Going green” is no longer a feel-good activity and new legislation and litigation prove it truly isn’t so easy to be green. Unless homebuilders carefully navigate this new frontier, they will quickly find themselves entrenched in disputes that will only be fodder for litigators as very little legal precedent exists at this time. Maryland is at the forefront of “green” litigation as the seminal LEED case, Shaw Development v. Southern Builders, was tried on our own Eastern Shore. Shaw Development was a dispute involving claims of breach of contract and negligence as a result of the alleged failure by Southern Builders to meet the LEED Silver certification level required under its contract with Shaw Development for a $7 million condo project. Shaw Development claimed that it lost $635,000 in tax credits from the State. The case is a good primer for some of the contractual pitfalls involved in green building. Other recent cases have addressed construction defects that result from using “green” materials. As such, consider closely what your contract promises to deliver, the long-term durability and vitality of materials used in construction when providing warranties to buyers, and the consequences that may result if your project fails to meet a certain green certification or, worse yet, faces de-certification. What you should remember: • Green building is growing, but is increasingly more regulated—check city and county ordinances and codes, as well as the Maryland Code, and monitor new legislation • Storm water regulations are a hot “green” topic in 2010 • Consider all of the risks and consequences, especially issues under express and implied warranties, before making guarantees in contracts • After Shaw Development, how you make a guarantee is vital—guaranteeing that a project will conform with, comply with, meet, adhere to, and/or be designed or constructed according to a certain standard or certification can and will be interpreted in different ways • Guarantees of certification and energy efficiency in contracts are risky, especially since de-certification is now possible if projects don’t maintain minimum requirements—don’t increase your liability • Be careful when marketing any “green” activity or product • Pay attention to tax incentives that may be available on the federal, state, and/or county levels Michelle R. Daley, LEED AP, is a real estate attorney and commercial litigator with Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A. representing local and national home builders and developers in contract and dispute resolution matters. She may be reached at or 301-230-5240.


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The Engineer’s Angle

Proactive Dry Utility Coordination By Stephen E. Richter, Richter and Associates, Inc. t comes as no surprise that development and construction activities in the District of Columbia and in suburban Maryland are becoming more and more challenging. This is true for many reasons including financing issues, zoning issues, permitting issues and increasing construction costs to name a few. In addition a builder/developer must also carefully consider the installation of the dry utilities. This is necessary because as a project is planned to maximize the building density on a site, space for the dry utilities is often minimized. A number of utility companies have identified this as a problem as they believe they are being “squeezed out” of space they need to safely and effectively provide service to a site. Consider a typical multifamily project of townhouses or garden apartments. As the building density is maximized for the greatest number of units, the design team and the zoning and permitting agencies focus on site amenities such as streets, parking, sidewalks and landscaping. The wet utilities and the storm water management facilities are also considered since these items are often the responsibility of the civil engineer that is dealing with the site plan and amenities. The dry utilities are often overlooked, however, since the dry utility companies have traditionally prepared their plans after the site plan and wet utilities are designed. Thus on many dense projects there may be little or no space available for electric, telephone, natural gas or cable-TV facilities. Over the years some dry utility design has been shifted away from the utility companies to the builder/developer. This is specifically true of the utility infrastructure for multifamily and commercial projects where onsite conduit for electric and telephone facilities is the builder/developer’s responsibility. Regardless of whether the dry utilities are on private property or in public space, however, some space must be allocated for their installation. In recent years, the local agencies and utility companies have come to expect early dry utility coordination. Specifically, in the District of Columbia, developers are expected to make a project presentation at a Preliminary Development Review Meeting (PDRM). At a PDRM, the developer and his Architect/Engineer (A/E) team present plans to various District of Columbia officials that address site usage, density, street trees/landscaping, street lighting, vehicular and pedestrian movement and a concept for the wet and dry utility lines that will serve the site. In Montgomery County and Prince George’s County similar planning takes place through the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC). At various Development Review Committee (DRC) meetings a developer and his A/E team will present plans to M-NCPPC staff as well as to Montgomery or Prince George’s County personnel. Often the dry utility companies are in attendance at the DRC’s meeting. The utility companies will offer comments on the utility service plan as well as address the need for public utility easements. In order to obtain site plan approval in DC, Montgomery County or Prince George’s County the savvy developer will necessarily have had his team of architects and engineers develop a master utility plan. This plan includes the basic site plan and landscaping items, as well as the wet utilities, storm water management facilities and the dry utility infrastructure. The master utility plan will later be used to prepare construction drawings for the utility work.


For some projects it may seem difficult to develop the master utility plan due to the inability to obtain information from the dry utility companies. In other words often the utility company is looking for a master utility concept from the developer while the developer is looking for guidance from the utilities in order to prepare a master utility plan. This “catch 22” situation has often been overcome through good teamwork between the developer, architect, civil engineer and dry utility engineer. The dry utility engineer will, of course, have completed sufficient research into the existing dry utility networks that are adjacent to the site. This is important in order to understand the type of utility service that is available to the site. The dry utility engineer then incorporates the existing and proposed dry utility information into a master utility plan. It goes without saying that the more complete the master utility plan the more likely the developer is able to achieve utility approval and eventually agency approval. Also, experience has shown that a well-thought-out master utility plan can provide savings in time, coordination and money when compared to a project where the dry utilities are considered as an afterthought. Stephen E. Richter is the President of Richter and Associates, Inc. specializing in the engineering and project management of the dry utilities for residential, commercial and neo-classical developments. He may be reached at or 301.548.7475.

BUILDING IN MARYLAND AND WASHINGTON, DC | MARCH /APRIL 2010 437640_Shulman.indd 1 7/16/09


7:41:36 PM

MNCBIA Membership

MNCBIA’s Most Wanted List

New Members (as of January 1, 2010)

Listed here are firms whose membership in MNCBIA has lapsed in recent months. WE WANT THEM BACK! Please encourage these companies to reinstate their membership.


Abrams Design Build, LLC Advertising Your Way, Inc. American Infrastructure, Block Builders Capital Design Group, Inc. Chase Residential Development Co. Inc. Crown Stairs & Rails Dad’s – Discount Appliance Distributor Denison Landscaping Inc. District Properties.Com, LLC Flooring America HLS Architects, PC Int Trans Sols (ITS) Kentlands Company M & M Appliance Sales and Service Majestic Homes, Inc. Mann & Marshall Merrill Lynch Murphy & Maguire, LLC O’Brie & Gere Pinnacle Construction LLC Rexel Electrical & Datacom Products Schindler Elevator Corporation Signature Multimedia, LLC Sun Services, LLC Swann Construction The L&L Company The Ryland Group Inc. Ventresca Enterprises, Inc. Vision Design Build, LLC Woodfield Investments

Vision Design Build, LLC Remodeling Vicky Weaver Ph: 703-779-8189

ASSOCIATES A.S&P. Co. Masonry Contractors Paul Turska Ph: 301-252-7011 Aspen Enterprises, Inc. Carpentry-Rough, Remodeling Casey Murphy Ph: 240-375-2311 First Place Bank Financial Services Brian Farasy Ph: 301-279-5145

Potomac Basin Group Associates Insurance & Employee Benefits John Deem Ph: 301-458-2171 Ventresca Enterprises, Inc. Utilities Contractor David Ventresca Ph: 301-474-2171



Acacia Federal Savings Bank BB&T DGG-MC Hanley Wood Market Intelligence Linowes and Blocher, LLP PEPCO Pleasants Development, Inc.

1st Mariner Bank Baker Tilly Bowman Consulting Bozzuto Group Burgess & Niple, Inc. Charles P. Johnson & Associates Christopher consultants, ltd. Columbia Bank Craftmark Homes Dewberry DICO Furey, Doolan & Abell, LLP GE Appliances Geo-Technology Associates Inc. Greenhorne & O’Mara Inc. IDI-MD, Inc. K. Hovnanian Homes Kim Engineering M &T Bank Macris, Hendricks & Glascock, P.A. Michael Harris Development Mid-Atlantic Builders, Inc. Miller & Smith Homes Mitchell & Best Homebuilders LLC Shulman Rogers Steuart-Kret Homes, Inc. Terra Verde Communities LLC Washington Gas

SILVER Georgetown Insurance Service, Inc. Loiederman Soltesz Associates, Inc. McMillan Metro, P.C. Miles & Stockbridge, P.C. Rodgers Consulting Inc. Ballard Spahr Bank of America Elm Street Development Gutschick Little & Weber, P.A. Holland & Knight, LLP Lerch, Early & Brewer, Chtd. Liberty Home Builder, Inc Reznick Group, P.C. Sandy Spring Bank Winchester Homes Inc.


Lighthouse Property Management, Ltd Property Management Ibrahim Dukuly Ph: 301-578-4041

STARS Club (as of February 1, 2010)


MARCH 422306_Macris.indd 1 /APRIL 2010

Integrated Transportation Solutions Traffic Consultants C. Hadberg Ph: 410-740-8784


Events Calendar MARCH 1 State Government & Legislative Affairs Committee meeting

2 Custom & Small Builders Council meeting

3 Development Review Process Subcommittee (DRPS) Environmental Committee meeting

8 State Government & Legislative Affairs Committee meeting

9 Real Estate/Finance Committee meeting Codes & Standards Committee meeting FIL (Future Industry Leaders) Happy Hour



State Government & Legislative Affairs Committee meeting

17 St. Mary’s County Liaison Committee meeting Charles County Liaison Committee meeting

2 Prince George’s County Liaison Committee meeting

5 State Government & Legislative Affairs Committee meeting


18 Celebrity Chefs Meets March Madness

Custom & Small Builders Council meeting


19 Montgomery County Liaison Committee meeting

22 State Government & Legislative Affairs Committee meeting

Development Review Process Subcommittee (DRPS) Environmental Committee meeting Calvert County Liaison Committee meeting

Commercial Builders Council meeting Green Building Committee meeting

11 Home Builders Care Foundation board meeting WSSC Liaison Committee meeting MNCBIA Executive Committee meeting

12 DC Liaison Committee meeting

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MNCBIA Executive Committee meeting

17 NAHB Spring Board of Directors/ NAHB Legislative Conference

18 NAHB Spring Board of Directors/ NAHB Legislative Conference

19 NAHB Spring Board of Directors/ NAHB Legislative Conference

20 NAHB Spring Board of Directors/ NAHB Legislative Conference Real Estate Finance Committee meeting

8 24 Dry Utilities Committee meeting Prince George’s Development Process Subcommittee

Home Builders Care Foundation board meeting WSSC Liaison Committee meeting

9 10



DC Liaison Committee meeting

MNCBIA Board of Directors meeting

10 A Day at the Races - co-hosted by HBCF & FIL (Future Industry Leaders)

29 State Government & Legislative Affairs Committee Prince George’s County Liaison Committee Meeting

30 Record Plat Committee

31 P&P Ad Hoc Committee

12 State Government & Legislative Affairs Committee meeting

13 Codes & Standards Committee meeting

14 Commercial Builders Council meeting Green Building Committee meeting

21 NAHB Spring Board of Directors/ NAHB Legislative Conference Montgomery County Liaison Committee meeting St. Mary’s County Liaison Committee meeting Charles County Liaison Committee meeting

22 NAHB Spring Board of Directors/ NAHB Legislative Conference MNCBIA Board of Directors meeting

27 Record Plat Committee meeting

28 P&P Ad Hoc Committee meeting


ADVERTISER.COM Appliance Distributors Unlimited ............................................................. ................................................................. Inside Back Cover CV Security Inc. ......................................................................................... ....................................................... Inside Back Cover Fastsigns of New Carrollton ..................................................................... ................................................................................. 10 GE Appliances............................................................................................ ................................................................ Outside Back Cover Hockstein’s Wholesale Floorcovering...................................................... .............................................................................. 13 Macris Hendricks & Glascock, PA ............................................................ .................................................................................... 12 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A. ....................................... ........................................................................ 11 Vintage Security ........................................................................................ Front Cover

INDEX OF ADVERTISERS APPLIANCES Appliance Distributors Unlimited ................... Inside Back Cover GE Appliances ........... Outside Back Cover ATTORNEYS Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A. ............................11 AUDIO/VIDEO CV Security Inc. ............ Inside Back Cover ENGINEERING Macris Hendricks & Glascock, PA .........12 RESIDENTIAL & COMMERCIAL FLOORING PRODUCTS Hockstein’s Wholesale Floorcovering ....13 SECURITY SYSTEMS Vintage Security ...........Inside Front Cover SIGNS Fastsigns of New Carrollton ..................10

Please support the advertisers who have helped make this publication possible. 14




8:08:44 AM

introducing Meet HomeShare™ home system - a very big idea in the enjoyment of your home. It’s Sony’s multiroom entertainment solution that will keep everyone entertained, wherever they are in the home. High definition video in any room. Access to your iPod® music throughout the house. An intercom so you can call the kids down for dinner without ever raising your voice. Access a security camera that lets you see who’s at the front door from the master bath. All at the touch of a button. All in perfect balance. Whether installed in the living room, kitchen or bedroom, HomeShare™ delivers your entertainment needs and enhances the way you live throughout your home. It’s never been easier to enjoy all your music and video, wherever you are in the home!

The perfect f balance off

CV Systems a division of CV Security, Inc. 800-974-8030 / Toll Free

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5/1/09 7:55:19 AM

Tomorrow’s Appliances Today ...since 1982

Knowledge Over 25 years

Experience Factory Trained

Selection 18 Major Brands

Inspiration Beautiful Showrooms

Washington Sales Division Takoma Park, MD 301 -608-2600 Virginia Sales Division Chantilly, VA 703 -263-2300 Baltimore Sales Division Linthicum, MD 410-789-8000 York Sales Division York, PA 717 -845-6500

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11/25/08 9:42:03 PM



GE Appliances Only GE Monogram offers the breadth and depth of designp. options 16to enhance any home. To learn more, visit To learn more, visit

GE Monogram For your local Sales Representative call the GE Regional office at 410.737.7065.

BUILDING in Maryland and Washington DC  

BUILDING, the official publication of the Maryland-National Capital Building Industry Association, is a bi-monthly, color magazine reaching...

BUILDING in Maryland and Washington DC  

BUILDING, the official publication of the Maryland-National Capital Building Industry Association, is a bi-monthly, color magazine reaching...