County developer program OKd despite warnings

first_imgA pilot program that aims to save developers money was approved Tuesday by Clark County commissioners, even after they heard from engineers who said they would not recommend it to developers.Under the developer certification program, developers could opt out of having county staff conduct a final engineering review.That would save, for example, $4,845 for a 20-lot subdivision.However, liability would be put on the developer’s engineers.Jerry Olson of Olson Engineering said the program may leave solo practitioners or small companies unable to bid for projects as they often can’t afford $1 million in general liability insurance and $1 million in errors and admissions insurance that will be required. The county required the insurance so taxpayers won’t be on the hook for shoddy work.Olson also said he relies on the county’s final engineering review, which happens before construction starts, because private engineers aren’t as well-versed in the details of state and county codes.Thomas Dennis and Greg Jellison of HDJ Design Group shared Olson’s concerns.Jellison, who serves on the county’s Development and Engineering Advisory Board — which opposed the program — said there have been a lot of improvements at the county regarding the review process. He said county engineers have done much better at only making changes to plans to comply with codes, and not suggesting changes based on personal preference.Commissioner Steve Stuart emphasized the program, which was initiated by commissioners, was optional.Stuart asked Jellison what he would do if a developer wanted to use the pilot certification program.“We’d probably have a long discussion,” Jellison said. He said he would not recommend it.The county won’t have an approved list of engineers; any engineer licensed in the state of Washington who carries the appropriate insurance can participate. Eligible projects include short plats, subdivisions and site plans. The county would still do a construction inspection and make sure everything was in order before issuing a final occupancy permit.last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *