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Suggestions Filed with DelDOT for Executive Order 36

As you may recall, Executive Order 36 was filed last summer, requiring State agencies to hold public suggestion sessions in order to remove potential log jams or out dated requirements or processes in State government.  The goal is to improve the process whereby the public is serviced quicker, thus at less cost to them.

You, our membership, should be aware of the efforts of your Association, to better your business environment.  Our Board of Directors authorized the following submission to DelDOT which was submitted earlier today:

To whom it may concern:

We want to take the opportunity to thank the State of Delaware for the opportunity to provide comments in conjunction with Executive Order 36, specifically as it relates to the Delaware Department of Transportation.  We assembled a group of engineering consultants and home builders/developers and we have the following comments.  Although we are providing a list of specific comments using your Comment Submission Form process, we would like to request a specific meeting with DelDOT to review the comments and discuss in more detail.  As you know, there are a multitude of details associated with the regulatory process that cannot necessarily be summarized in a letter.  The items below represent the broader issues, however, we can make a number of recommendations to improve the process.

We appreciate the steps DelDOT has taken to improve the entrance and plan review process.  We are supportive of a defined submission process with predictable review dates as well as a consolidation of departmental reviews.   We believe this process is good.  However, there are a number of factors that are not allowing the process to be successful.  As a result, the approval process takes longer and costs more.


  1. Department Coordination – There continues to be a disconnect between various sections within DelDOT and, in some cases, disagreement about various requirements.    We recommend that there be a clear decision maker responsible for the entrance and subdivision review process.  We recommend that the Planning Department have the final determination in cases of dispute among internal departments.
  1. Level of Review/Improvements – The review process now involves divisions of DelDOT previously only responsible to review DelDOT and federal funded highway projects.  As a result, entrance plan reviews are being reviewed to the same level of criteria.  We don’t believe that commercial entrances and subdivisions should be held to the same criteria as federally funded highways.
  1. 3.       Traffic Impact Study (TIS) Requirement – DelDOT has recently implemented a Traffic Operational Analysis (TOA) requirement for projects that exceed 200 daily trips.  It is our understanding that this study can be required when a project exceeds 200 trips per day but less than 400 trips per day.  At 400 trips per day; a full TIS can be required.  With the implementation of the TOA, we recommend that the threshold to require a TIS be increased.  It is our understanding that the threshold was lowered to capture projects which may have a localized impact at major intersections but did not necessarily meet the warrants for a TIS.  It would seem that the TOA now captures those scenarios and a lower threshold for a full TIS review is no longer necessary.  Given the recent adoption of the TOA, we support an increase in the TIS warrant threshold.


  1. 4.       Existing Failed Intersections – A developer should not be responsible for costs to improve an intersection beyond its existing condition but only to mitigate the additional traffic generated by their development.  


  1. 5.       Offsite improvements – We do not object to being responsible for improvements required to support development.  However, the current process to determine off site improvements and contributions is lengthy, costly, and unpredictable.  We support the elimination of signal agreements and the creation of an impact fee system to fund new signals and improvements at off site intersections.  The impact fee should be collected at time of building permit.  We believe the Transportation Improvement District (TID) process provides the mechanism for implementation of this system.


  1. 6.       Storm Drain Design – We believe the storm drain design requirement within a subdivision is excessive and results in unnecessary costs.  The current regulations effectively require design to the 25 year storm.  We believe this is excessive and results in oversized storm drain and present challenges in flat terrain with shallow outfalls.  We recommend the regulations be revised to utilize the 10 year design storm within subdivisions. 


  1. 7.       Grandfathering – We find that changes are required during the construction phase as a result of revised standards after DelDOT approves the project.  As a result, developers are left with unforeseen extra costs.  We recommend that the project be responsible to meet the standards in place at the time of approval all the way through the construction phase. 


  1. 8.       Duplicate Review – Currently, there are situations which result in DelDOT and DNREC reviewing stormwater management and erosion and sediment control.  Duplicate reviews result in unnecessary cost and time.  We recommend that only one agency be responsible to review these items. 


The above items represent a few of the larger issues that we believe should be addressed.  However, as previously mentioned we have a number of suggestions and would like to meet with representatives of DelDOT to discuss.


Delaware Home & Garden Show

  • Wilmington Chase Center on the Riverfront

  • Show Hours Saturday March 2, 2013:  10am till 6pm
  • Sunday, March 3, 2013: 11am till 4pm

Shake off those Winter Blues and check out all the new and different exhibits amongst 140 vendors

Tickets available at the door, $7.00

Members only (blank or non-member branded tickets will not be honored):  The Spring Delaware Home & Garden Show tickets you can brand with your logo! There is no minimum or maximum, however you must include your logo or company name in order for them to be valid. Attached are instructions.

This link below will take you to Dropbox where you can download the tickets.

•         These jpgs are optimized for printing so the color will seem off on your computer

•         Can be printed on standard 8.5×11 sheets of paper


If you’d like to put a ticket on your webpage, these jpgs are optimized for the web.


Our Show Website:


Associates and Builders Bowling Night A Success

Our first HBADE General Membership Meeting Bowling Night was held last night.  Judging by the comments it was a big success!

The evening was organized and arranged by our Associates Council.  Over 40 builder and associates bowled on scrambled teams randomly set by Staff to combine both builders and associates.  Since everyone bowled three games, the winners were determined using scores averaged.  Combining the teams worked as an ice breaker as members made new friends and contacts.

The winning team scored an average 141.  Congrats guys! Team members were:

  • Mike Burcham of McCrone Engineers
  • Jim McCulley of Watershed Eco
  • Dan Delcollo of Benchmark Builders
  • Mark Succarotte of Real Estate Mortgage Network

Highest BUILDER member score went to Tom Cekine of Regal Builders.

Highest ASSOCIATE member score won by Mike Burcham of McCrone Engineers.

THANK YOU to our sponsors for the evening:

  • Bath Kitchen & Tile

  • Karins and Associates Engineering

  • LC Homes

  • WatershedEco

Members: Benefits Connection Insurance Newsletter

News from the BENEFITS CONNECTION January-Feburary 2013 PG 1

News from the BENEFITS CONNECTION January-Feburary 2013 PG 2

Schell Brothers Recognized for Excellence in New Home Sales, Marketing and Design

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, February 19, 2013 — The year’s most outstanding work in residential real estate sales, marketing and design was honored on Jan. 22nd at The National Sales and Marketing Awards gala (known as “The NationalsSM”), one of the building industry’s most prestigious events. Hosted by the National Association of Home Builders’ National Sales and Marketing Council (NSMC), the awards ceremony attracted more than 500 building industry professionals to The Wynn Resort in Las Vegas, Nev., for an up-close look at the year’s most innovative and successful ideas during the 2013 International Builders’ Show.

“The focus of this year’s NationalsSM awards is to celebrate the innovation, creativity and endurance of our profession,” said Dorothy Tayloe, chair of The NationalsSM . “Our industry continues to produce exceptional work, and we are thrilled to recognize the sales and marketing professionals who have made that happen.”

A diverse panel of industry professionals from across the country selected the Gold award winners from more than 700 entries. Of the many winners, both Schell Brothers and Echelon Custom Homes were honored with Gold Awards for best home design, best website design and for individual achievement.

Jamie Hudson, Director of Sales at Schell Brothers, was presented one of the biggest individual achievements of the night, the Gold Award for Sales Manager of the Year. “I was happy and honored to have been awarded the Silver, so winning the Gold was a distant thought,” Hudson reflected. “When the Emcee called my name I was so excited to bring home the Gold for the entire team!” Hudson, one of the youngest and most successful Sales Managers in the industry, leads the Schell Brothers sales team who nearly doubled their number of sales from 2011 to 2012 in communities throughout southern Delaware. “It was an amazing experience and accomplishment and I can’t think of a better group of people to share this with,” Hudson acknowledged in an acceptance speech that exuded the spirit and energy of Schell Brothers so much, even Emcee Tim Sullivan joked about his own desire to move to Delaware and work for Schell Brothers.

The Hartford home design in Heritage Creek won the Gold for Best Architectural Design of a Single Family Detached Home between 2,500 to 4,000 square feet. This unique courtyard home is available to tour in the community of Heritage Creek in Milton Delaware.

Echelon Custom Homes received the Gold for Best Website for a Builder for echeloncustomhomes.com. The innovative website utilizes modern responsive web design techniques to showcase Echelon’s beautiful home plans, dramatic photography and powerful customer testimonials.

In addition to the three Gold Awards, Schell Brothers and its affiliated companies took home five Silvers, including Best Sales Person Joshua Hay and Best Architectural Design of a Single Family Detached Home for the Kingfisher model. Echelon Custom Homes and local designer David Dutton were awarded Best Architectural Design of a Single Family Detached Home for the New Castle Street residence. Echelon was also recognized for excellence in interior design for the Cape Shore residence, with design by The Interior Collection, and the Farmer residence, with design by J Conn Scott Inc. Affiliate company, Renew Smart Renovations won the Best Website for a Builder Silver Award for renewvation.com.


Schell Brothers is located at 55 Cascade Lane, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.  Chris and Preston Schell have set the standard for home building excellence, high performance features, and responsible land use in Coastal Delaware. For more information about Schell Brothers, please visit www.schellbrothers.com or call 302-226-1994.

Becker Morgan Group Receives National Residential Design Award

Becker Morgan Group was honored with a Best in American Living Award (BALA) for the design of South Point Residence in Berlin, Maryland. Sponsored by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the BALA award recognizes the most prestigious new home designs throughout the nation. This waterfront shingle-style coastal home received the Silver Award in the “One-of-a-Kind Custom Home over 6,501 sq. ft.” category and was recognized for its classic and charming elements. Wrap-around porches, balconies, and the iconic widow’s walk capitalize on incredible bay, ocean, and barrier island views from five different levels. The awards gala was recently held in conjunction with the NAHB International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. The home is featured in the January issue of Builder magazine (builderonline.com).


The builder, Joseph T. Dashiell was also honored with a Professional Builder Design Award for this project. It received Special Recognition in the One-of-a-Kind Custom Home category and is featured in the January issue of Professional Builder magazine.

Becker Morgan Group provides Architectural-Engineering services throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, with offices in Maryland, Delaware, and North Carolina. See www.beckermorgan.com for more information.

EmpowerAbility LLC Announces CAPS Designation

Congrats to HBADE Board of Directors Member Debra Young!

Debra Young of EmpowerAbility LLC is officially an NAHB approved instructor for the CAPS designation courses and the Universal Design/Build course.  Young, who has previously earned the Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) designation, is   one of the select group of professionals nationwide to be an NAHB approved instructor, and the first in Delaware to instruct these courses.   Debra is also one of two occupational therapists that have been approved by NAHB as a CAPS instructor and the first occupational therapist to be approved as a Universal Design/Build instructor.


EmpowerAbility LLC is a consulting agency that specializes in environmental modifications consultation to consumers, professionals and agencies with regard to products as well as built and natural environments.  Services include Universal Design, Aging-in-Place, livable communities, assistive technology and accessibility consultation.  Debra’s background as an occupational therapist affords her a unique perspective on the person-environment fit.


For additional information about the NAHB CAPS designation or the Universal Design/Build course, visit the Education and Events section of www.nahb.org.


For more information about EmpowerAbility LLC, visit www.empowerability.com or call 302-504-6067.


Loans for Heroes special financing of almost $7MM is been allocated

Sometimes, good things are in short supply.  We recently blogged about this program. Although it had been earlier publicized, we had no idea it would be so helpful so quickly to 37 Veterans.  Consider the following announcement today from Delaware State Housing Authority

Loans for Heroes special financing of almost $7MM has been allocated.  We thank Lenders for their good work in reaching Veterans with this reduced rate product.  As this set aside was “first come; first serve” 100% of available funds have been committed.  With this product, DSHA and our partners assisted 37 Veterans purchase their home.  We encourage lenders to continue accessing “Welcome Home” and “Home Again” products for their VA or other loans for Veterans.

The reduced rates for Veterans will no longer be available, but our standard rates will continue to be very competitive.

And don’t forget, DSHA provides mortgage funding sources to first time, and now repeat buyers. Check their website for current information: www.DEStateHousing.com

Green for Green Builder Workshop

Green for Green Is Up and Running – Builders Are You Registered?

The Sustainable Energy Utility, Inc. (SEU) and HBADE are again teaming-up to bring back the popular Green For Green Program.  The program will offer rebates to new home buyers who purchase and non-profits who build high energy efficiency homes that are certified by the National Green Building Standard (NGBS), or Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED), or that have a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) of 59 or less using Energy Star 3.0 or RESNET.  The Program Launched Friday, February 15, 2013 and  we already have several builders registered, covering nearly 100 eligible communities.  We are holding one more workshop, listed below.

Rebates will range between $1000 and $4500 for newly constructed homes depending on the level of sustainability certifications and energy savings.  Sustainability upgrades for energy efficiency, water conservation, indoor air quality, building material and other conservation-oriented features are all considered in the certifications. To qualify for a rebate, a new home must be certified by a third party inspector/Accredited Verifier and meet the standards of NGBS, LEED or HERS and follow the guidelines of the Delaware Green For Green Program.

“HBADE is proud to once again partner with the SEU to bring the Green for Green program to help Delaware new home buyers receive rebates for energy-efficient and green minded new homes”, said Fred Fortunato, President of HBADE.  The Green For Green program will again be administered through the HBADE.  Both home buyers and home builders can learn more about the program through the website: www.degreen4green.com.

Two orientation workshops are scheduled to be held on the following dates.  The purpose of these workshops will be to inform home builders, interested members, verifiers, and raters of the program including details, requirements, program fees, etc.  As there are several program updates and changes, we STRONGLY suggest builders attend one of these workshops. Registration for the Workshops is not required.

February 13, 2013 (Wednesday) 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. – DNREC Auditorium, 89 Kings Hwy., Dover, DE 19901

February 28, 2013 (Thursday) 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. – DNREC Auditorium, 89 Kings Hwy., Dover, DE 19901

If you want to see this link as a word doc, click below:

Sustainable Energy Utility NEW

New Name for the NAHB Research Center!

The NAHB Research Center is planning a name change. As of February 12, 2013, the name of the  company will be changed officially to Home Innovation Research Labs.  

(Here is their press release – so when they say “we” they refer to them, not HBADE):

Why, you may ask, would a company with a nearly 50-year history decide to make a move like this? The short answer is this:

We want to enhance the value our mark provides to our clients in the increasingly competitive residential marketplace.

While nothing in our name change alters our relationship with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) as its independent subsidiary, or our access to industry segments as a result of that relationship, our new name will help us provide you with more brand equity to consumers. And with a completely refurbished website aimed at positioning our services and your products more prominently, we are focused on enhancing our marketing value to you.

This change is not a decision we reached lightly. Over the last year, we worked with a leading marketing communications company in the housing industry and a leading brand consulting firm. In an exhaustive research process conducted by these third-party consultants, we tested our value proposition, name, and certification mark and learned that we could enhance our value to our clients with a name change and new certification mark.

We listened to the data, and the data spoke loudly. Ninety-one percent (91%) of consumers said the new name would impact their purchase decision favorably compared to our existing name, and 59% of builders surveyed said the new name was better than our existing name in promoting our certification seal and services. It was clear that in marketing your green certified homes to consumers, a new name would create more value than our current name. If you haven’t done so already, I encourage you to visit www.nahbrc.com (www.HomeInnovation.com as of February 12th) and see for yourself how the first phase of our re-branding journey helped us more clearly define our corporate “story.”

Making the Transition

Our commitment to our business partners is to make this transition as smooth and worry-free as possible, but we realize this will take coordination on both our parts. There are several key benchmarks over the next several months that affect our green certification program participants during the transition process. If there is ever a point when our timing significantly impacts your day-to-day business operations, please let me know and we will do everything we can to minimize or eliminate that impact.
We’re also working closely with the International Code Council (ICC) to make sure that all its
members and all code officials in the field are aware of our name change and  that the name change in no way impacts the meaning of our marks. We believe  co-branding for an interim period will help to further alleviate any potential  confusion. As an added precaution, we will have an easy way for builders and/or
code officials to contact us with any questions during the period following the  change.

We are very excited about this transition and believe strongly that it will
provide maximum marketing value for our company and for our clients. We look
forward to even more success working with you to find a home for your innovation.

If you have any questions or concerns, call me personally and I would be happy
to speak with you about them.

Michael Luzier
President & CEO

back to HBADE Website


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