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Thread: Release of landscaping

  1. #1
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    Release of landscaping

    I was wondering if I could consult wisdom from any planners who have to dealt with a release of letter of credit which have been created to make sure that all the landscaping is correctly installed.

    I work in a suburb of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and as you probably know it snows here and there are only certain times during the year when we can actually plant landscaping. For instance, when a multifamily building is going up and the developer is looking for occupancy, our department goes out to verify that the landscaping has been correctly done. This is a big problem in the winter because our department cannot really hold up occupancy because there are no plantings (the frozen ground will not allow the plantings to survive). More times than not we grant occupancy to these buildings because there are other buildings that the developer will need occupancy for. Sometimes the last building has been put up in the early winter months and the developer would like his letter of credit released for the landscaping, however not all of the landscaping has been created.

    How do other communities in a similar climate deal with allowing the developer to continue building when the landscaping cannot be complete. Many times it is not a problem, however, in anticipation that it may happen someday we would like to be prepared.

    Any ideas or direction would be very helpful. Thanks and have a great New Year! Here's to a great 2005!

  2. #2
         
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    During the winter months we allow the landscape to be bonded with either a cashier's check or letter of credit from a local bank equal to 125% of the cost of materials and labor. The developer needs to provide a written cost estimate and a date which the landscape will be finished. Our finance department holds the guarantee which keeps us planners from misplacing it. Make sure any letter of credit doesn't expire before installation is completed. Try to stay away from surety bonds, too much trouble to collect on for small projects. On some large projects a partial release is granted as landscaping is installed.

  3. #3
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    In my former place of employment we used the following agreement:
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  4. #4
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    The last place I worked, we required a cash deposit equal to double the estimated cost of the landscaping materials and installation. That amount was dertermined in staff discretion, and had to be approved by the Council's Finance Committee prior to release of the occupancy permit, so the owner / contractor had to plan ahead or risk delay. Staff was usually good about keeping an eye on winter projects and sending reminders.

    Upon completion, staff inspected it and reported to the Finance Committee, and they would authorize the release.

  5. #5

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    We don't release all of the LOC or other securities until the warranty period is up, so for landscaping that is a year out, after its installation. Same for many other improvements. This means that many CO's are temporary, being replaced by a permanent CO only after the warranty has run its course.

  6. #6
    I also work in Wisconsin and we take a bond, letter of credit, or cashiers/certified check for the value of what still needs to be installed. We will release them when I have inspected the landscaping in the spring.
    "I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are."

    - Homer Simpson

  7. #7
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Senior Jefe
    During the winter months we allow the landscape to be bonded with either a cashier's check or letter of credit from a local bank equal to 125% of the cost of materials and labor. The developer needs to provide a written cost estimate and a date which the landscape will be finished. Our finance department holds the guarantee which keeps us planners from misplacing it. Make sure any letter of credit doesn't expire before installation is completed. Try to stay away from surety bonds, too much trouble to collect on for small projects. On some large projects a partial release is granted as landscaping is installed.
    We do the same thing here, but at 150% of the estimate. We have this option for the opposite reason ya'll do though... landscape doesn't do to well when installed in our blazing 95+ degree summer heat.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  8. #8
    Cyburbian IlliniPlanner's avatar
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    We do the same as what many of you do as well. But we also notify anyone who is taking temporary occupancy that there is still some landscaping that needs to be planted in the Spring so "please don't object or be surprised when we start tearing up your parkway and you say that you don't want a tree planted there." We ran into that a few years ago.
    One lot of redevelopment prevents a block of sprawl.

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