Outside The Norm – DE Storage Planning Commission Meeting

Outside The Norm – DE Storage Planning Commission Meeting

Buckle up and get ready to have some knowledge directed your way! Here at DL Howell, we do things a little differently. Come with me as I take you through an exciting and thrilling situation at New Garden Township which was the result of some cosmic waves and some pretty knowledgeable people making the best of out of a different situation. There are two aspects of the review process. Getting the township on board and meeting technical design requirements. You can have the Tesla of land development designs but get turned down because grumpy old man Jenkins feels like the noise is going to keep him up, even though he can barely hear the board member through his hearing aid, shouting across the room telling him he has an excellent point. Which leaves you scratching your head like a New York Giants fans after their number 6 overall draft pick went to Daniel Jones, the former QB of a powerhouse football program, the Duke Blue Devils. However, when township meetings go well it is a win-win for everyone. To help facilitate this, I motion all meetings shall be held outside when the temperature is 65 and sunny.

We are currently assisting our client, DE Storage, through the approval process of a by-right plan located on a 10-acre site in New Garden Township. DE Storage proposes to construct four self-storage facilities and an office. This past week the final land development plans received a recommendation from the Planning Commission as the members sat around a picnic table while we presented the plans at the first ever outside Planning Commission meeting. There was a mix-up and the township building was locked with no way of getting the keys any time soon. While we were all standing outside some ideas were tossed around such as throwing a rock through the window, so the cops would show up and let us in. Eventually, from the resourcefulness and innovative thinking of DL Howell and New Garden Township, we settled on the idea of using the picnic table outside. Eventually, we gave our presentation with the proposed site across the street as our beautiful backdrop, which I believe assisted in a quick rubber stamp. Here at DL Howell, we’ll have meetings in the rain, snow, or shine to get the proper approvals we need to get your job started and completed as quickly as possible! So, if you need someone to get your proposed project completed give us a call and we’ll be happy to help!


Population growth has continued to rise

Population growth has continued to rise

Population growth has continued to rise, increasing the number of people entering the workforce and needing a place to live. This means businesses need more office space and the demand for housing is high.

Industrial vacancy is at an all-time low of 5% in Chester County, but developers are not seeking to build industrial buildings for lease because rental rates don’t justify the high cost of land development. As a result, it is becoming evident that local and state governments ought to make it less costly to develop the land.

Researchers are seeing more evidence that the younger generation, those that have been putting off buying a home, now has their eyes on single-family homes. This means that housing—especially if it’s in walkable, transit-oriented developments—is in high demand. Over 2.6 million people have moved from major cities to the suburbs in 2016 and 2017.

The statistics couldn’t be clearer: the need for housing may soon surpass the supply. 12 million Americans spend more than half their earnings on a place to live, and since 2015, the combination of rising prices for single-family homes and rising mortgage rates have cut home affordability by 15 percent. Hopefully, in the near future, houses can be built more cost effective to increase housing affordability.
Businesses need more office space and the demand for housing is high so let D.L. Howell help you with land development needs!

How Do You Define Engineer?

The word engineer is defined in two ways. The first and most identifiable way is used as a noun which describes “a person who designs, builds, or maintains engines, machines, or public works.” This usually implies a person with a degree and/or license in engineering. The second usage is as a verb- “to design or build”. This is used in a sentence as “He’s engineered several big industrial projects.” Used in this way, the term “engineer” is a lot vaguer and does not necessarily have to refer to actual engineers.

This definition was put to the test in 2015 as the Mississippi Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Surveyors notified an Alabama-based automotive service provider company, Express Oil Change & Tire Engineers (EOC), that they did not have any “tire engineers” on staff. Therefore, violating the state’s licensing code. The Mississippi legislature does not allow any business to use the term engineer for commercial identification unless the said company is licensed to perform engineering services.

Unbudgingly, EOC filed a federal lawsuit, claiming the business name Tire Engineers was protected by the free speech clause of the 1st Amendment and that the board was misinterpreting its statute. This is where the definition of the word engineer fits in. The court claims that their name is misleading and could be taken by consumers to mean they perform engineering services and have licensed engineers (none of which they have).

In response, the court took a public opinion poll via telephone with 70 percent of respondents agreeing that the name “Tire Engineers” was misleading.” However, EOC rejected this evidence, stating that the question was “leading and suggestive.” The question asked was “By using the name ‘Tire Engineers’, the company is suggesting it has professional engineers on its staff. Do you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, strongly disagree, unsure?” In statistics, this is what’s known as response bias- where the survey, designed by the board’s attorneys, was worded in a way designed to evoke a certain response out of the telephone respondents. However, despite their complaints, the court held up that the results could be used as evidence.

The court found that the board did not misinterpret its statute and that the 1st Amendment did not apply to their commercial speech because it was suggestive and misleading. Since the case, the EOC has appealed the decision to the US Court of Appeals and will be met at a later date.

The term engineer can have different meanings depending on the circumstance. In my opinion, the term engineer gave credibility to a company where it was not deserved. If the company had licensed engineers on staff, then the credibility given to the name Express Oil Change & Tire Engineers is deserved and not misleading. This goes to show why obtaining a professional engineering license is extremely important here at DLHowell.