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Myers withdraws bill to ease architects' fees

February 18, 2004|by LAURA ERNDE

laurae@herald-mail.com

Del. LeRoy E. Myers Jr. has withdrawn legislation that could have helped Maryland developers avoid expensive architects' fees.

A state task force made up of engineers and architects is working on regulations that likely will accomplish the same purpose, said Myers, R-Allegany/Washington.

"There was no sense in me clouding the waters," Myers said.

Myers' bill would have allowed local permitting offices to waive the architect's seal requirement on plans for storage buildings smaller than 12,000 square feet.

With an increase in pre-engineered construction, the seal often is not necessary and, in some cases, costs as much as the construction, he said.

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Jonathan Blasco, president-elect of the Maryland Society of Professional Engineers, argued that state law already allows permitting officials to waive the architect's seal requirement.

But some local permitting officers were not sure what to do when the practices of engineers and architects overlapped, said Milena Trust, an assistant attorney general.

Members of the state's professional design licensing boards put together a task force to divide the work, she said.

Once the regulations are finalized, the group intends to educate permitting officers on what certifications are required for what types of buildings.

The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee killed Sen. Alex X. Mooney's bill to create a public database of stolen cars. Mooney, R-Frederick/Washington, thought citizens could use the database to help police find stolen cars.

Maryland State Police had opposed the legislation because of the high cost of setting up the database.

One local lawmaker's bill advanced this week.

The House of Delegates gave preliminary approval to Del. Robert A. McKee's bill to repeal a 50 mph speed limit for school buses. It's dangerous for buses to go that slow on interstates where the speed limit is 65 mph, said McKee, R-Washington.

The bill passed the Maryland General Assembly a few years ago but was vetoed by Gov. Parris Glendening.

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