The review and approval of Miller’s HCP should have taken no more than three to five months, according to the FWS Habitat Conservation Planning Handbook, and without the agency’s approval, Miller can’t move forward and begin his land development projects.
“As a small company, our business plan calls for building three to four duplex projects per year. For the past three years, we have been totally shut down when it comes to construction,” said Miller
The upfront expense of designing an HCP can be significant. Consulting fees alone cost Miller an estimated $5,000-$7,000. He also has been carrying the costs of continued financing and lost income on prime beachfront property. “At this point, we are sitting on three lots and have several clients for single-family home projects that have been caught in the permitting process for years,” said Miller.
Miller’s case highlights the difficulties small builders and developers experience with the FWS review and approval process for Habitat Conservation Plans. NAHB continues to advocate for the agency to establish mandatory time frames that provide more predictability on HCP decisions.
Click here to visit NAHB’s new HCP Web section and to read more about the benefits and difficulties of HCPs.
For more information about Habitat Conservation Plans, e-mail Christopher Galik or call him at 800-368-5242 x8663.
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