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Summer and Early Fall have been busy in thePublic Policy Department. Several administra-tive rulemaking processes are on-going, look forupdates on two of them below. There have alsobeen a host of local issues, ranging from realestate signage disputes to excessive permit fees,which BATC has engaged in on behalf of mem-bers. As we move into fall, legislative planningand election result analysis will be in full force.We are also in the planning phase of creating ablog, which will be dedicated to public policyissues and market updates, see below for anupdate. Minimum Impact Design Standards(MIDS)The MIDS effort is picking up the pace con-siderably this fall. Contracts have been awardedto three engineering firms that will begin thework to develop standards and to accompanythem with site calculators/credits to be used forproject tabulation. Rain gardens, green roofs,and pavers are all examples of low-impactdevelopment techniques. These and others willbe credited in the MIDs process, paving the wayfor property owners and government units touse them as a credible reference point whenproposing/approving projects. These standards,credits, and calculations have the potential tocreate a more streamlined solution for buildersand developers who face a mounting list ofrequirements, such as the state stormwater per-mit, anti-degradation requirements, watersheddistrict oversight, and more. To the extent thatMIDS can provide solutions to the many andvaried policy requirements, it's a positive forproperty owners who will save time and moneyon compliance. Naturally, the devil is in the technical detailsof the standards and credits. An expedited time-line to avoid a budget issue with the state willpush the project timeline considerably, it is nowexpected that these standards in draft form willbe completed in early 2011. BATC is represent-ed on the MIDS stakeholder group by staff, aswell as three experienced members; Larry Frankfrom Arcon Development, Dave Newman fromBANCOR, and Ian Peterson from the PulteGroup. Expect more information in the comingmonths as this project takes shape. Mississippi River Corridor CriticalArea Land Use Rules The Department of Natural Resources (DNR)continues to work on minimum zoning stan-dards and land use districts for the MississippiRiver Corridor Critical Area (MRCCA), whichlocal governments will be required to incorpo-rate into their existing local zoning and land useordinances. The MRCCA extends from thenorthern borders of the cities of Dayton andRamsey to the Southern boundary of DakotaCounty on the west/south side of the river andthe boundary of the Lower St. Croix NationalScenic Riverway on the east/north side of theriver. The 2009 legislature directed the DNR topromulgate minimum zoning requirementsalong the corridor. BATC has been at the tablesince last spring as the DNR began unveilingtheir zoning concepts. While many of the con-cepts are reasonable - there are others that gobeyond the scope of the legislation and couldcreate conflicts with other zoning laws alreadyin place. A specific example lies in density require-ments, where the Metropolitan Council require-ments and those in the DNR's draft are dramati-cally different in several cities. Such inconsisten-cies will create an inefficient application processfor developingproperty ownersand could signifi-cantly affect proper-ty values. BATC hasrelayed this concernand others to theDNR for considera-tion. Like the MIDs stakeholder process men-tioned above, the MRCCA process is on a fasttrack with the goal of having the stakeholderprocess completed by the end of 2010. BATChas requested that the DNR coordinate thisprocess with existing local ordinances and com-prehensive plans. I'm skeptical that the DNRwill be able to adequately vet the drafts withexisting local plans under that condensed timeframe. Stay tuned for further updates. Public Policy Entering theBlogosphere One of the biggest challenges on public poli-cy items is the changing nature of issues andprojects. A bill that is introduced can be amend-ed in a single motion, changing its impact onour industry altogether. Given that challenge,BATC has sought a communication tool thatcan be useful and nimble when necessary. The result appears to be a blog. This blog willbe member-focused, providing timely, on-goinginformation on issues important to BATC mem-bers. Much of our work at the legislature, regu-latory agencies and at local governments evolvesat unpredictable rates, making an on-line venuefor updates and communications more valuable.This feature will offer a new level of intercon-nectivity with regulating agencies, media, andother blogs relevant to BATC's activities. Checkit out the new Blog at Policy Round-UpPUBLIC POLICYBYJAMESVAGLE//Public Policy Director for the BuildersAssociation of the Twin Cities //651-697-7578 //james@batc.orgHome Building Industry News & More from the Builders Association of the Twin Cities PLUMB, LEVEL &Join the conversation on our new blog.www.batc.orglevel

Education SeminarsRegistration atwww.batc.org2010 BATC UniversitySponsor:Lead Paint Rule UpdateAs of February 1, 2011 local building inspection departments inMinnesota will be checking EPA's website before issuing remod-eling permits for pre-1978 housing [MN Statute 326B.106].Contractors must complete the EPA Lead Renovator courseby December 31, 2010.Send your firm certification to the EPA - NOW! You can sendthis in BEFORE you take the class! Course Dates:Wednesday, October 20Wednesday, December 82011 Continuing EducationWe have a great set of courses coming up this spring. hereare the dates:Wednesday, January 5Tuesday, January 18Thursday, February 10Wednesday, February 16Thursday, February 24 - at the Minneapolis Conv. Center - Builders & Remoders Product & Service ShowThursday, March 10Thursday, March 24 Tuesday, March 29RRoocckk YYoouurr SSaalleess RRaallllyy aatt tthheeBBuuiillddeerrss aanndd RReemmooddeelleerrss PPrroodduucctt && SSeerrvviiccee SShhooww oonn FFeebbrruuaarryy 2244From the 2010 International Builders don't want to missthese national speakers pumping up the volume! Watch your email for details coming soon!ONGAME Presented by:FEBRUARY 24, 2011Builders & Remodelers