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IBS 2024 Retrospective

March 26, 2024

I’m back from the International Builders Show (IBS) 2024 in Las Vegas once again. It was warm and sunny, much better than the past few years. Here’s a brief follow-up on some hot topic items on the Environmental Issues (EIC) and Land Development Committees (LDC) I serve on.

An updated Wetlands Resolution was presented to both committees by sponsor Vince Messerly, EIC member and President of the Stream and Wetland Foundation, Lancaster, Ohio. I was a task group member assisting in drafting the resolution. This new resolution directly responds to the recent Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruling that redefines Waters of the US (WOTUS) per the Clean Water Act, a topic of great importance to our committees.

Our committees have been actively involved in other recent actions regarding the revised WOTUS rule, including:

• The EPA/Corps of Engineers hosted listening sessions for industry stakeholders.
• The Corps proposed new regulations for reviewing historic/cultural resources during the Clean Water Act 404 wetland permitting process.
• House Republicans introduced a series of CWA permitting reform bills.

Our discussions on impact fees, an issue of high importance to the Land Development Committee, have been fruitful. Tom Ward, with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) staff, presented to the Committee a litigation known as Sheetz v. County of El Dorado. This litigation is in response to a traffic impact fee imposed upon a property owner, highlighting the relevance of our ongoing discussions. As a part of the permit process, the County imposed a traffic impact fee of $23,000 for the single unit! Hence the litigation.

Something to consider. Houses don’t impact traffic – motor vehicles do. Perhaps the impact fee should be on the motor vehicles – not homes.

Call me if you want to learn more about these and other issues that may affect your work and how you might participate in our committee work.