Posted on October 9, 2015 5:38 pm

Certainly you already heard that the Courts found this past Wednesday that the most recent DNREC Erosion and Sediment Control Regulations, enacted in 2013 and 2014, were found to be flawed and held invalid.

What does this mean and where is this headed???

Good question. Certainly, the latest stormwater regulations which DNREC has been using as the law of the land, are no longer valid.  General informal conversations with local consulting engineers and land use attorneys thought was that the previous regulations would go back into effect.

This morning DNREC issued the following written statement:

The Department will be filing an appeal to the Delaware Supreme Court and requesting a stay in the Superior Court decision until the appeal is decided.  There are no plans to revert back to the previous regulations.  The Department has advised the Delegated Agencies to hold off on any plan approvals effective October 7, 2015 until a decision is rendered on the motion for stay.  Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.

This raises more questions.  What does it mean that delegated agencies “hold off”?  What about all those plans in the review process? What will be the status of the projects that proceeded thru the now-invalid regulations and may or may not be under construction.  What happens to all those projects where the applicants paid the fee-in-lieu under these now-invalid regulations?  I have been told that delegated agencies can continue to review plans but they are unable to approve any projects for the next 7-10 days until a decision is reached by the judge for a “stay”

Stay tuned. We’ll keep you posted.

If you want to read a copy of the Superior Court decision, Baker, et al. v. Delaware DNREC, et al., C.A.No. S13C-08-026 (THG), CLICK here for DNREC Court Decision 10-7-15

 Posted on October 7, 2015 1:08 pm

Mortgage application text on blackboard with 3d house

Mortgage application text on blackboard with 3d house

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB’s) new mortgage lending rules took  effect Oct. 3.

NAHBNow has reported on the impending changes over the past few months to help our readers prepare and avoid any unwanted closing delays.

The Good Faith Estimate, the Truth in Lending and HUD-1 Settlement Statements will be replaced by the CFPB’s new integrated disclosure forms, the “Loan Estimate” and the “Closing Disclosure.”

The biggest change is that the Closing Disclosure must be provided to the consumer a full three days prior to closing, and if there are certain changes during that 72-hour period, the closing could be delayed.

CFPB recognizes the “significant systems and operational changes” that are required by institutions to comply with the rule. While falling short of offering a hold-harmless period for the initial months of the new process that NAHB and industry allies requested, CFPB Director Richard Cordray indicated in an Oct. 1 letter to the American Bankers Association that examiners will recognize good-faith efforts to comply.

Listen to the replay of NAHB’s June 24 webinar to prepare those in the residential construction field for the changes, explaining how to work proactively with lenders and settlement stakeholders to avoid unnecessary delays to home closings.

Visit NAHB’s website to learn more about the new rules and download resources to help you comply.

For additional information, contact Steve Linville at 800-368-5242 x8597.

You can of course contact your local mortgage lender or banking firm contact if you have any questions!  Our SMC President Mark Succarotte has also supplied me with some information, email me at if you want a copy.

Thank you for your support and investment into the Home Builders Association of Delaware!

Howard Fortunato
Executive Vice President, Home Builders Association of Delaware
NAHB Member Discounts

 Posted on October 2, 2015 2:47 pm

Thursday, October 1st, 2015 — The Home Builders Association of Delaware (HBA/DE) held their annual Fall Golf & Crab Feast at Odessa National Golf Course. Initially, it was thought the event may be cancelled due to the increasingly poor weather conditions. Yet, despite the looming weather, attendees took the green to enjoy an afternoon of golf. The event boasted 27 Foursomes and 142 Overall Attendees.


JS Homes Foursome checking for closest to the pin

The weather remained calm at the start of the event through the early afternoon. However, rain eventually began to cover the course. Despite this, Jeff Haggerty, Grubb Lumber, noted, “Some of my best golfing memories are from those with bad weather.” A sentiment that attendees seemed to share, as many of the foursomes persevered and finished their 18 holes.


HBA/DE Golfers enjoy beer, crabs and steak

After golf, during the crab feast our Golf Chairman, Jeff Haggerty, recalled the impact that the late, Joe Capano, had, not only on this event, but the industry as a whole, urging others to participate in local and national activities. At the end of the night, all the winning golf prizes were donated to the Capano Family Scholarship Fund at the University of Delaware.


Jeff Haggerty, Grubb Lumber, speaking on the importance of local & national involvement

Special Thanks To Those Who Contributed Their Winnings:
1st Place, Bath, Kitchen & Tile Center: Mark Gandy, Tony Rosetti, Steve Barnard, and Brad Foos.
2nd Place, Grubb Lumber: Jeff Haggerty, Brendon Welch, Darrell Evans
3rd Place, Pro-Build: John Gormley, Steve Gibson, Jim Pollina, Vic Fernandes
4th Place, AZEK/TimberTech: Rick Hardy, Drew Coleman, Jason Zarzycki, Brad Burr
Closest to the Pin & Longest Drive Winners: Ron Airey, Brendon Welch, Charlie Barnett, Al Krushecki, Pat Matesdes, Alicia, and Vic Fernandes

Special Thanks To Our Volunteers
Dee Cairo, Excel Business Systems
Phil Dunlevy, 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty
Thom Marston, Energy Services Group
Sharon Moore, CPG Building Products
Brian Rickards, Benchmark Builders
CJ Roberts, Weyehaeuser

Thanks To Our Sponsors
Artisans Bank – Tee Hole Sponsor
AZEK/TimberTech – Tee Hole Sponsor
CNB – Tee Hole Sponsor
DuPont – Dinner Sponsor
Energy Services Group – Tee Hole Sponsor
Geo-Technology & Associates – Tee Hole Sponsor
Grubb Lumber – Tee Hole Sponsor
Horty & Horty – Tee Hole Sponsor
Leon Weiner & Associates – Tee Hole Sponsor
Sharon Moore – Cigar Sponsor
Morris & Ritchie Associates – Tee Hole Sponsor
Saul Ewing – Straightest Drive Sponsor
Schell Brothers – Tee Hole Sponsor
Shone Lumber – Tee Hole Sponsor
State Farm Insurance, Rick Downes – Tee Hole Sponsor
Watershed Eco, Longest Drive Sponsor
Wells Fargo – Beverage Station Sponsor
Whiteford Taylor Preston – Golf Ball Sponsor

You can view all the photos from the event by visiting our Facebook page.

 Posted on

Since 1981, September has been designated as the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Associate Member Appreciation Month — an annual celebration of our Associates’ contributions to Delaware, the NAHB federation and our nation’s building industry.

The Home Builders Association of Delaware (HBA/DE) really appreciates its Associate Members! Associate members provide support to HBA/DE at the local, state and national levels, they volunteer time, talent and treasure to help the association, and they serve on committees and councils, conveying valuable insight and business management tips. Therefore, designating September as Associate Appreciation Month is just one way of providing the much-deserved visibility and recognition to our invaluable Associate members.

As you know, each month the Builder Members of our Board of Directors nominates an Associate Member for the coveted, annual Associate of the Year Award, awarded annually each December. You can see a list of all the previous year recipients of the Associate of the Year Award, as well as this year’s nominees by clicking here.

In order to honor, and thank our Associates, HBA/DE will be highlighting a different Associate Member each week for this month. This week we have Debra Young, M.Ed., OTR/L, SCEM, ATP, CAPS, Owner of EmpowerAbility.


Debra was elected Director to the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Board of Directors (2015-2018). In 2014 she received he AOTA Recognition of Achievement Award for notable contributions to the profession and its consumers in the environmental modifications specialty area of practice. Locally, she serves on the Home Builders Association of Delaware (HBA/DE) Executive Committee and Board of Directors, and serves as the Chair of the HBA/DE Associates Council. She is also scheduled to present, “Think your buyers are too young for Universal Design? Think again!” at the upcoming 2016 International Builders Show.

We reached out to Debra to ask her a few questions about her experience with HBA/DE:

Q: When did you first join HBA/DE and what made you join?

A: I first joined HBA/DE in 2011, shortly after I obtained the NAHB Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) designation.  It was within the CAPS courses that I was introduced to the building industry perspective on the creation of spaces for older adults.  Joining HBA/DE seemed like the natural next step .  Occupational therapists are uniquely qualified to address the needs of older adults who wish to continue to live at home.  Our knowledge of the person-environment fit lends well to consulting on planning and layout of built and natural environments. Inter-professional collaboration provides a marriage of the medical and building industries for best client outcomes.

Q: Why do you stay a member of HBA/DE?

A: Interprofessional collaboration is integral to my business model.  I am a believer in ‘seek first to understand, then to be understood.’ Having an understanding of the issues facing the building industry on both a local and national level is critical to the collaborative team process.  I remain active with HBA/DE to be a resource for inclusive housing and communities, but to also continue to strengthen partnerships between occupational therapy practice and the building industry for the benefit of my clients.

Q: What is your favorite HBA/DE Event and why?

A: I have enjoyed and found benefit in every HBA/DE event that I have attended.  Networking and getting to know the other members on not just a professional, but also a personal level, has been tremendous.   As a foodie I am partial to the Celebrity Chef event.  As a former bowler, I also enjoy the challenge of bowling nearly 30 years later.  Although, shooting a shotgun for the first time at the Clay shoot and getting a chance to try some new brands of Scotch, at the Cigars & Scotch event, certainly top the list as well.

Q: What have you accomplished as a result of HBA/DE Membership?

A: My membership has helped to not only provide project leads for my business, it has fostered local and national friendships that would otherwise not have occurred.  Active involvement within HBA/DE led to active involvement with NAHB. Getting involved and staying involved allowed me the opportunity to participate as a content expert on what I am most passionate about; universally designed products and spaces and the concept of aging in place.  Invitations to present and be a part of special projects and subcommittees followed, providing further networking opportunities and added exposure for my business.  A direct result of my membership has been the ability to provide continuing education to building industry professionals on a local and national level on universal design and aging in place.  This, along with many other notable contributions I made in an effort to support and promote the NAHB CAPS designation, paved the way to my being the recipient of the 2013 NAHB CAPS of the Year Award.

Q: What do you feel is the greatest benefit of HBA/DE Membership?

A: Keeping up to date on building industry trends and how it may impact business.  Having a seat at the table when it comes to government affairs, legislation and state/local policy decision-making.  Most of all:  Being a part of a group of professionals that come from diverse backgrounds and experiences, but sharing converging visions of successful housing and community design.

From all of us here at HBA/DE, we would like to graciously thank Debra, as well as all of our Associate Members. Thank you for your continued support!

 Posted on

It is with great excitement and enthusiasm that we would like to formally invite you to take advantage of this important member benefit. We would like to introduce to you an exclusive look at the Benefits Connection Exchange, a private health insurance exchange for businesses and individuals throughout the state of Delaware. The Benefits Connection Exchange is exclusively endorsed by over 9 different Chamber of Commerce and Trade Associations throughout the state. We are the healthcare and employee benefit solution!

The Benefits Connection has been providing coverage to Delaware employers for over 35 years. The key aspects of our program include:

– Billing from one source as opposed to multiple carriers. We would bill for your medical, dental, vision, life, etc. on one invoice.
– Online, real-time, comparative quoting for multiple carriers and plans
– Provide options from both the public ( and private marketplace
– HR administrative assistance
– Provide, at no cost to you, an on-line, customized HR and employee benefit portal for your company
– Expert ACA consulting and reporting to ensure compliance
– Large Group discounted pricing for all ancillary products (i.e. dental, vision, disability, life, life lock, etc.)
– Unique Workers Compensation program which is comprised of a national pool of employers that can provide up to 20-40% discounts exclusive for Benefits Connection

It is vital for every employer to review and consider all options available in the new Affordable Care Act landscape of health insurance. We will provide expert consultation to ensure your benefit program is compliant under the new law.

Please feel free to contact us, Allen Insurance Group, brokers for the Benefits Connection since 1980, for a free review and consultation:
Phone – (302) 654-8823
Email –

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