Something I agree with the Republicans; we are over regulated, some regulations go too far, unfortunately if people would abide by the rules, regulations would not have to be made to make sure we follow the rules. A lot of regulations are catch 21’s.
If industry didn’t pollute to the extreme maybe they wouldn’t be so regulated; because they don’ regulate themselves, they are. They say over regulating is costing Americans jobs, so they go overseas where they can pollute.
The building industry is another area that drives the economy; new housing begets furniture, appliances, carpet, down to the toilet paper which begets trucks, tires, ll with add up to more employees, more expendable money which hits everyone’s cash register.
Unfortunately there are bad contractors regulations have to be made to take care of the few bad apples. Skipping on materials, shabby work, thus a building code, developers not properly doing infrastructure, thus permits, developers walking away from projects not completing the infrastructure such as roads or completing the houses, thus a bond to guarantee the work is completed even if it has to be done by others.
These rules were made to protect the consumer; a home is where the bulk of our wealth lies; too many horror stories about those who invested their life savings only to find out they lost it all. We depend upon our elected officials to pass and enforce these laws; we have no lobbyist to fight for us.
For two decades the Sussex County Council has been labeled as pro-development approving the most developments in the history of the county and oversaw the largest building boom and population growth during that time. Although at times I think they approved too much, as proven by the building bust, they did put in safe guards to protect the consumer; permits, inspections, and bonds for those developers who decided to take a hike.
It was a fair relationship; council looked out for the contractors and developers; they looked out for the council at election time.
Now that the power of the council has changed hands the contractors and developers are asking for more concessions which are diluting the protection of the consumer.
Permits are given with a time limit, enough time for the development to happen, some can be extended then they cease and the developer has to begin the process all over in case; regulations change, and so the developer starts anew; an expensive ordeal.
A lot of approved sub-divisions did not get started and their permits elapsed. They boo-hooed telling Council if they didn’t have to go through the expensive and time-consuming permit process they would go back to building, put people back to work and spur the economy. Council bought it hook, line, and sinker, instead of taking the developers case by case it was approval across the board. This passed 3-2 with Democrat Joan Deaver and Republican George Cole voting against.
This was a nearly a year a year ago. I haven’t seen anymore trucks on the roads with building materials; why should they rush, they now have all the time in the world to begin again. Strike One!
Next the developers wanted the county to ease bond rules for those who can’t get credit they say because of new lending requirements saying they must have cash up front for the bonds. These bonds were part of the guarantee that the development would be completed.
The boo-hooing worked again; yesterday with a 4-1 vote with Joan Deaver D-Lewes voting against the ordinance introduced by Sam Wilson, developers with sufficient capital on hand could begin improvements such as sewer lines and roads and finish them on their own. Cole who reportedly is not seeking re-election, usually anti-development fell in line with his party.
Developers also could start work and then buy a bond later to guarantee their completion.
Work must be finished or a bond purchased before lots are sold. One Lewes resident protested the ordinance saying the county is using bond money to finish what his community’s developer couldn’t. This ordinance apparently is weaker than the current one being replaced. So much for public protection. Strike Two!
The bill has a two year ‘sunset’ in which it will be dropped. Strike Three coming in year two?
I believe the final strike three will be the further watering down of yesterday’s ordinance. The bond will disappear, the building permit will be given and developers will walk away and there will not be any money to finish the subdivision. Strike Three!
I can’t believe if a developer has cash to put in the infrastructure, which means he is a good businessman, that the banks won’t back him with bonding; it’s the ones with lousy credit and poor reputations that can’t get credit. This ordinance is for them.
Keep the election money coming guys if you want to see strike three against the consumers expanded.