Myers' bill would ease woes for small builders

January 30, 2004|by LAURA ERNDE

Imagine spending $3,000 to build a prefabricated storage shed and then having to pay an equal amount to have an architect certify that the shed was properly designed.

That's a situation small builders in Maryland face all the time, said Del. LeRoy E. Myers Jr., R-Allegany/Washington.

With the increase in pre-engineered construction, Myers said the architect's seal is no longer necessary in those cases.

He has introduced legislation that would repeal the seal requirement for storage and utility buildings smaller than 12,000 square feet.

It also would apply to building additions of the same type.

"The need to get an architect's seal on drawings is a burdensome hassle for developers and county permit offices," Myers said.

Myers, who is a contractor, said the idea came from working with Allegany County on a local bill last year. The bill didn't pass because it was too broad, Myers said.


But he said other lawmakers encouraged him to modify the legislation and propose it statewide.

It is the first piece of legislation he's introduced since he was elected in November 2002.

Myers plans to introduce three more bills this legislative session dealing with school construction and the vehicle emissions inspection program.

They would:

  • Create a task force to study leasing school buildings.

    Fast-growing counties and those that can't afford the high cost of school construction might be able to benefit from leasing, Myers said.

    While opposed by state Education Secretary Nancy Grasmick, the idea of leasing has taken hold in other states and has been used for college campus buildings in Maryland.

  • Create a task force to study standardized school construction.

    Having standardizing plans for schools would save money in architectural fees. Each school could still be customized, Myers said.

  • Allow new car buyers three years instead of two before they have to have take their vehicles in for a state emissions inspection.

Virtually all newer cars pass the inspection anyway, Myers said.

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