Editor’s note: The following is a report presented to the OSHBA spring board meeting from the various homebuilders associations across the state; this one from Rusty Appleton, Executive Director of the Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association
By Rusty Appleton
Execuive Director COBA
It is a very busy time at COHBA. We just closed registration for our Spring Parade of Homes. This year’s Spring Festival will feature more than 135 homes, making it the largest Parade of Homes the association has ever had. The show will be held May 13-15, and 20-22. For the first time, we will require that the public to download a free ticket to tour the homes in our Parade. The goal is to create traffic, demographic, and sales data for the builders that haven’t been available before.
One of our goals for 2016 is to create an ambitious schedule of training events for builders and their salespeople. The goal of our education program is to not only provide our builders and their staffs with excellent education opportunities, but to bolster our branding efforts within the community by bringing other community stakeholders onto our campus. Our first event, with national speaker Jeff Shore, was a tremendous success with more than 200 people in attendance. Our next event, with another nationally renowned sales speaker, Myers Barnes, was April 19.
Our Spring Membership Drive will be May 2-6. Recruiters will earn triple spike points and cash rewards for each new member they bring in.
Planning for our newest event, the Street of Dreams presented by James Hardie Building Products and Harry’s TV and Appliances, is well under way. This single-site, luxury home tour will happen October 15-30. This show features seven COHBA member builders on one street at Black Oak at Iron Horse Ranch in north Edmond. Tickets will go on sale this summer, and sponsorship opportunities are available now. Contact Elisa Milbourn at firstname.lastname@example.org or (405) 843-1508 for more information on the Street of Dreams.
COHBA’s charity project, the House of Hope, is off to a great start this year. Last year’s home, built by COHBA member Phil Boevers, broke every record for the project: raising $100,000 for our foundation’s partner charities. Jason and Jim Schuff of Vesta Homes will build this year’s House of Hope, and they are excited to get this project underway. If you have any questions about the House of Hope project or would like to donate money or materials, please contact Rusty Appleton at email@example.com. Every person or company that donates $500 or more will be recognized in our 2016 Parade of Homes Fall Classic Publication.
Lastly, COHBA is actively engaged with the City of Oklahoma City regarding the passage of a new impact fee ordinance. The process of imposing impact fees on new development began in 2007, but fizzled out during the financial crisis of 2008. Two years ago, Oklahoma City staff reached out to stakeholders in the commercial and residential building industries for input on a draft ordinance. At that time, the ordinance included fees that were more than twice as high as those that are now proposed, included environmental regulations that went beyond what even the Corps of Engineers requires, and included other nonsensical requirements for pools, parks and common areas within newly developed neighborhoods.
Over the course of the subsequent two years, our government affairs team along with our attorney, Sean Rieger, has worked with the city to entirely remove bonding requirements for parks, wetland and other environmental restrictions, and slashed the overall fees for transportation and parks by over half of what the city originally wanted. There is still work to be done before we will support this ordinance as written. Right now, we are working with the city to remove language that would allow them to essentially ask for more money for road improvements regardless of the impact fee structure. Moreover, we have made it clear to the City Council and city staff that, if the overall amount of fees collected is significantly changed by another party's discussions with the city, we reserve the right to withhold the support we have tentatively given to the language as it is currently written. For more information on OKC impact fees, contact Rusty Appleton at firstname.lastname@example.org.