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Thread: Improvement guarantees for on-site work

  1. #1
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    Improvement guarantees for on-site work

    The city I work for currently requires improvement guarantees for all public improvements (which I think is common) but also for all on-site (i.e. non-public) improvements as well. This I have not done for the other two municipalities I worked in. Just wondering if it is uncommon only here where I am or if that seems uncommon to anyone else. Curiosity, no axe to grind.
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

  2. #2
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    We require what we call a "restoration surety" for on-site work.

    It does not require the full cost of improvements be covered, but rather it allows us to have sufficient funds to loam/seed, put in erosion controls, etc. to ensure that if a developer walks away from a project, the abutters are protected from runoff, erosion, etc.

    Reg language:

    ON-SITE IMPROVEMENTS: All site plans shall be required to submit an erosion control and site restoration bond, in an amount and form determined by the Department of Public Works, prior to commencing construction on the site. Also, in accordance with NH RSA 676:13, no certificate of occupancy shall be issued by the Building Department until all on-site improvements specified on the approved site-plan are completed and inspected in accordance with section 6.02.
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  3. #3
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    We have landscaping completion/maintenance bond requirements, which is for 100% of the cost of the landscaping initially and then that is reduced 20% yearly until after the third year. In the third year, if the landscaping is good, then we release it.

    As for other private improvements, we basically expect/hope they will finish everything.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

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  4. #4
    Indiana prohibits such requirements other than performance/maintenance bonds for public dedications. It's a real problem.
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  5. #5
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker View post
    Indiana prohibits such requirements other than performance/maintenance bonds for public dedications. It's a real problem.
    That's interesting. We're one of the only cities locally that requires it, and I get all kinds of grief for it.

    But as we all know, completion can be a real problem. If a project never gets up and going that's one thing, but what I do like is knowing that if the developer fails to put in the lighting, (for example) that was approved during entitlement I have a guarantee I can call - or threaten to call - and get it done. Especially since under new Utah law we can no longer withhold Certificates of Occupancy when sites don't comply with entitlement specifications.
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

  6. #6
    Cyburbian abrowne's avatar
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    We require landscape bonding... we bond 125% of the estimated costs to install the works incl. labour, u/g irrigation, all plantings, soil, edging, pavers, benches, bike racks, etc. Gets released after the site is inspected post-construction. Achieve this via Landscape Agreement which is a requirement of the Development Permit.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by abrowne View post
    We require landscape bonding... we bond 125% of the estimated costs to install the works incl. labour, u/g irrigation, all plantings, soil, edging, pavers, benches, bike racks, etc. Gets released after the site is inspected post-construction. Achieve this via Landscape Agreement which is a requirement of the Development Permit.
    But only for landscaping on site? Not for total costs of all improvements installation? We approve an engineer's estimate of the total cost and keep 10% additional for another year as a warranty.

    I have to be honest and say sometimes I think it's a little bit grevious to deal with from the developer's side. They've all had trouble posting these guarantees with the recession's noose around their necks.
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

  8. #8
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    From Our Code

    As a condition of approval of a site plan review, special land use, variance, or other zoning approval, the Township Board, Planning Commission, Zoning Administrator, or the Zoning Board of Appeals may require a performance guarantee to ensure compliance with the zoning approval. The performance guarantee shall be in an amount, form, and type with language which is approved by the Township body or official involved.

    The Township shall have the discretionto require a bond, irrevocable letter of credit, or monetary deposit with the Township. With regard to required improvements, the Township can require a performance guarantee of a sufficient amount and form to assure the installation of required improvements or components of the approved use, activity, or construction which are considered reasonably necessary to protect
    the health, safety, and welfare of the public and of users or inhabitants of the proposed development.

    The features or components, hereafter referred to as "improvements," may include, but shall not be limited to, survey monuments and irons, streets, curbing, landscaping, fencing, walls,screening, lighting, drainage facilities, sidewalks, paving, driveways, utilities, and similar items.


    Our code also lays out the "process". PM me if you want a link to that. We actually very rarely do this however. Most improvements get done because developers want their Certificate of Occupancy.
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