I was told this newsletter is our “End of Summer” edition and as I look at my calendar I see that I have not taken a vacation and now I am noticing school corners are posting their first day of fall classes…..Ok…where did summer go???
Well, I can all but assure you at BIA we know our seasons and as summer winds down, staff and our decision makers are saddling up for fall/winter season and we too are looking ahead to see what challenges we will be facing. Many jurisdictions are gearing up to raise fees and the days of deferrals are becoming increasingly more difficult! I am working hand in hand with Bill Blankenship to lend my support wherever he needs it and we may be calling upon some of you too to help us reinforce the reality that our marketplace remains fragile, yet promising.
While national employment numbers seem to be on the mend, here in Riverside County we still face some of the highest unemployment rates in the state. We have all experienced some fantastic home sales this summer but BIA is not resting on a few good months as we continue to work hard with our decision makers to prevent additional regulations and fee increases as we all try and build on our robust sales.
As I bounce from city to city in my daily travels I have met with a number of elected officials, city managers and planning directors and they all seem to be singing the same tune…. “We got hammered when the market came to a standstill and now we are getting hammered again on the upswing: Low staffing levels, decreased work hours, shorter weeks, and now our plan check times are getting hammered.”
My best advice is to tell your project managers and planners that it is crucial to sit down before a submittal and walk thru the details of every application and work product. Iron out the issues before you submit. Achieve clarity and don’t assume that what you are preparing is what the city wants to see. KNOW the process. Don’t be afraid of the question, just the answer. Also, work out reasonable time-frames up front not after you submit! The advice I like the most - Tell your project team, “Go visit your city staff every once in a while.” Stop in and actually develop relationships. It never ceases to amaze me that after 35 years of entitlements, there is one thing I have learned that never changes, getting “face time” means a whole lot more than an email.
Well, all of us here at Riverside BIA remain committed to help any of you wherever we can. Your membership is very important to us. Your participation at our events over this past summer has been incredible! Overall, as a sitting member of BIASC’s Governing Board I can tell you that while we still have some catching up to do, our Membership is up, our budgets look a lot better and we are nearing the final touches under our new ‘One Membership’ organization! But there is one thing that will never, ever change. All of us at the local chapters, our executive officers and our dedicated staff are always standing by to help.
So, I hope you all enjoyed a terrific summer, enjoy the rest of August and my favorite time September! Again, from all of us THANK YOU for helping BIA remain strong and supporting us in making our industry a little easier….
Dan Boyd-D.R. Horton,
President, BIA Riverside County Chapter