The Monitor – October 2014

GASTON, SUSAN COLOR 2255 (2)Virginia Peninsula Association of REALTORS®
Monthly Public Policy Report

Local Issues
HAMPTON 101 is back! And the Association is invited to attend! Spend a day with the City’s leaders and professional staff to learn more about housing and neighborhoods, Hampton City Schools, economic development, public safety and community development as well as the City’s federal and military facilities. Scheduled for November 13th, the event will be held from 8:00 AM until 1:00 PM at Cine Bistro in Peninsula Towne Center. Have lunch with the Chief of Police and take a fun City-wide bus tour in the afternoon! Register at or call 757-727-8311.


VPAR hosted a well-attended and fog-lifting session focused on the Air Installation Compatibility Use Zone (AICUZ) in relationship to Ft. Eustis and Langley Air Force Base. Joined by VAR CEO Terrie Suit, who in her former life as a member of the House of Delegates passed AICUZ legislation, the morning was filled with accurate information regarding the history of the issue, its importance to the Peninsula’s future and the proper use of the noise disclosures. Many thanks to Terrie and to the newest member of the VAR Legal Team, Laura Farley, for being key elements in the program!


Newport News
VPAR members Andy Cohen, Sandra Hood and Peggy Todd, along with CEO Jim Wetzel and Legislative Consultant Susan Gaston, attended the September 30th “STATE OF THE CITY OF NEWPORT NEWS” event. Mayor McKinley Price delivered his address at the Marriott City Center on Tuesday, September 30th. On behalf of Newport News City Council, he spoke to the theme of “Newport News: Where Innovation Happens! View the event here! (This is one of three in a series of lunch programs featuring the Mayors of Hampton,Newport News and Poquoson that are sponsored by the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce. The final event will be held in Poquoson on October 30th!


The Comprehensive Plan Citizens Advisory Committee met on October 9th after a summer recess. Accomplishments to date were reviewed and include the completion of the Comprehensive Plan survey; presentations on trends, challenges and opportunities; compilation and presentation of the City’s statistical profile; the initiation of public outreach sessions; and the development of a website….and that’s just Phase I! Moving now into Phase II, data collection and analysis, the emphasis is on citizen involvement and input that will include focus groups and stakeholder interviews.


VPAR is part of that process and is the source of the first stakeholder group session. Scheduled for October 21st, the Association will host the Planning Department and members of the Committee to conduct a visioning exercise with the membership. Be sure to attend this important discussion and provide your input into the City’s future! Visit for more details on how you and your clients can weigh in on the Comp Plan review.


Like most localities in Hampton Roads, Newport News is working toward approval of its FEMA flood maps and floodplain development regulations. The Regulations Committee, on which VPAR is represented by Susan Gaston, and the Planning Commission have approved amendments to the Zoning Ordinance that change the base flood elevation, modify the requirements for substantial improvements and repairs and requires an elevation certificate. On November 17th, FEMA reps will be in the area to work with the Cities and receive public input. VPAR is working with the localities to be part of these discussions and has asked Newport News to visit VPAR to present the new requirements. Stay tuned.




VPAR is working to help Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) improve transportation and transit systems on the Peninsula and throughout the region by soliciting feedback from the general public.


CONNECT Hampton Roads is a new initiative just started recently by HRT to kick start a conversation about what regional transportation options the public wants. Does the region want more buses running later, in more cities and longer into the weekends? What is the future role of light rail transit? How do bicycle paths and park and rides fit into the transportation mix? Are we imposing too much of a financial burden on cities under our current system? Hampton Roads Transit will use the comments as part of an on-going discussion to gather comments, combining them into broad categories such as bus, rail, ferry services, pedestrian pathways and transit funding. The comments will be incorporated into a planned long-range Transportation Vision Plan. Next year, the plan will be shared with the Virginia General Assembly. Housing and public transits are important elements in our quality of life, and the two are very much aligned… so, REALTOR® input is very important to this process! Give your thoughts as to how to achieve the goal of a more connected community via transportation systems by going to




Many local associations, including VPAR, have policies that allow affiliate members or vendors (termite inspectors, appraisers, etc.) to have access to a lockbox upon approval by the listing agent. This is to assist in facilitating the completion of many of the services required for final settlement on the property transfer. In the proposed VREB regulations, there is an addition that would prohibit a licensee from providing a lock box code to an unlicensed person for access to the property. VPAR and other local associations have expressed ongoing concern regarding this provision and its unintended consequences.  As a result of outreach by VAR and local associations, the proposed regulations will be returned to the VREB by the Governor in order to delete the prohibition. The VREB is expected to consider the amendment at its November meeting, after which the regs will be returned to the Governor for final action.


The VAR Public Policy Committee met on October 8th to continue discussions on legislation proposed for the 2015 General Assembly Session. VPAR member Dale Chandler, a member of the state Committee, was in attendance. Several legislative priorities will move forward, including:


Property/Condominium Owner Associations

  • Prohibition of fees not allowed under state code
  • Right of rescission exemption for auctioned properties to include newly constructed condos
  • Prohibition on limiting or prohibiting rental units in POAs…just to name a few


Storm water Management Facility to be added to Property Disclosures
Technical amendments to the Virginia Residential Landlord-Tenant Act
If any VPAR member knows of issues that require a legislative remedy, please advise your Legislative Consultant, Susan Gaston, at



Bill Amending Condo Sales Requirements Signed


On Sept. 26th, 2014, the President signed into law H.R 2600, a bill to amend the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (ILSA) to clarify how the Act applies to condominiums. As amended, the ILSA will treat the sales of condominiums still under development in the same manner as condo sales in completed projects. By doing so, the bill closes the loophole that allowed buyers to use a technicality to rescind otherwise valid real estate contracts due to personal financial reasons or “buyer’s remorse.”


SBA Asks EPA to Withdraw Water Rule

The U.S. Small Business Administration, a federal agency responsible for protecting the interests of small businesses, has asked the Administration to withdraw a proposed rule that changes the scope of existing law without Congress’ authority and expand federal regulatory power under the Clean Water Act. In a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), the Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) raised concerns that the proposed rule “Definition of Waters of the United States under the Clean Water Act” would have “direct, significant effects” on small businesses. The SBA Office of Advocacy stated that the proposed rule was improperly certified by the EPA and Corps, and urged withdrawal of the rule.


Coalition Letter on FHA 203(K)

On Sept. 26, 2014, the National Association of REALTORS®, along with the National Association of Home Builders and the Mortgage Bankers Association, sent a letter to the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) in response to proposed changes to the 203(k) Rehabilitation Mortgage Insurance Program. Read the letter! Letter FHA on 203(k)

Program Property Flipping Waiver

On Friday, October 3, NAR President Steve Brown sent a letter to FHA Commissioner, Carole Galante, urging FHA to extend the property flipping waiver that allows FHA financing on single family properties that are being resold within 90 days of the previous acquisition. NAR has seen the positive effects of the waiver where property rehabilitation and resale of these homes has increased the availability of safe and affordable homes in many communities. To read the full letter to FHA on the flipping waiver, please click here.


Should you have questions on these or other issues, or for additional details, please contact Susan Gaston, VPAR’s Legislative Consultant, at 757-871-1445 or at

Meet the Candidate Series: Carl Burt – Director 2015-2016

Carl Burt 2014 - ThumbnailCarl Burt – ABR, GREEN, SFR – Abbitt Realty Company
Board Member Candidate

My name is Carl Burt; I am a Realtor with Abbitt Realty Company, current VPAR Board Member and a candidate for the 2015-2016 VPAR’s Board of Directors. I have served VPAR in the following areas: VPAR Board of Directors, Public Policy Committee member, Awards Committee Chair and Vice Chair and member, VPAR Charitable Foundation Board member and RPAC fundraising committee. I am a retired Law and Enforcement Executive with years of administration and management experience in business and civic boards.

I have actively participated in numerous VPAR functions including all official meetings, REALTOR Day on the Hill, training, reviewed and made changes to VPAR’s Awards Committee policy, attended and participated in the Awards Banquet, met with political leaders on matters relating to our real estate profession, regularly provided input into policy discussions at the VPAR Board level and I regularly serve as an advocate for the real estate profession and home ownership in my encounters with fellow professionals or the community. I am seeking a two year term on the 2015-2016 VPAR Board of Directors.

Serving as a VPAR Board member the past two years has afforded me an opportunity to actively engage in the inner workings of the complex world of managing a Professional Realtor Association. I have a personal understanding regarding how important insightful thought; deliberation and compromise are in addressing matters on the VPAR Board. If elected to return to the VPAR Board, I will bring prior VPAR Board experience and years of executive level leadership, budget, personnel and organizational skills to the VPAR Board. I wish to serve the VPAR Board because I think my professional background and experience would be helpful to the board. If elected to return to the VPAR Board, I will work to advance the ideals of our profession, while always being open to our membership and public for input that will improve our profession. I am a consensus builder that works well with other Realtors, public and political leaders.

It is the season for football, pumpkins..and VPAR Elections !

kimi dornanHappy fall ! It is the season for football, pumpkins, and beautiful weather.

Welcome to the new format of our new website . The VPAR website has been revamped and is much more efficient for our members. You can register for classes and events, pay bills, and find many other resources to help you with your business on the VPAR site. There is also a blog which is full of timely real estate related updates and details on upcoming VPAR happenings. We are transitioning The Realtor Update to our blog section. Please give us feedback on our new look. I thank our CEO Jim Wetzel for his hard work redesigning the VPAR website. This is one of the many projects that Jim has taken on since coming to VPAR. Jim has settled in quickly in his new role and is doing a great job. Thanks to VPAR staff members Cindy Anderson and Jo Daly for all their efforts and hard work.


Fall continues to be a busy time at our Association. Our annual trade show and signature event RealtorFest was held on September 23rd at its new location at the Marriott at City Center in Newport News. Congratulations to Chair Lindsay Pennington, Vice Chair Sheila Dann, Staff Liaison Jo Daly, and all of the RealtorFest Committee for a great event! Thanks also to all our sponsors and vendors.

I want to highlight a few of our upcoming events in October:

Election Week Happenings at VPAR:
Monday, October 20th
Please come out and vote at the VPAR Election on Monday, October 20th. Be a part of choosing your future leadership team. You can find information about our candidates on our blog. Many of the candidates will be stopping by your offices in the coming weeks to say hello.

SchoonersAfter you vote be sure to stop by at our October Social at Schooners from 5pm to 7pm. It is co- sponsored by the Member Relations Committee and the PYPN (Peninsula Young Professionals) .

Tuesday, October 21st
Join us the next morning at VPAR for the General Membership Breakfast at 8:30am
to hear the election results and for a great program called “We are the R! One City, One Future: VPAR and the Newport News Comprehensive Plan”. The program will be facilitated by REALTOR® Michael Carpenter, Chairman of the Comprehensive Plan Citizens Advisory Committee for Newport News, and VPAR Legislative Consultant Susan Gaston, a member of the Committee. Come share your valuable feedback and be a part of the comprehensive planning and visionary process with the City of Newport News Planning Department. Your support and feedback to the City is so valuable and demonstrates once again how VPAR reaches out to serve the communities that we all call home !

Annual Brokers Retreat

Friday, October 31st

All managing and associate brokers please mark your calendars for the VPAR Annual Broker Enhancement Retreat on Friday, October 31st from 9:30am to 2:00pm at Founders PointeFounders Pointe in Carrollton, VA. Our guest speaker Nobu Hata, Director of Digital Engagement, National Association of REALTORS® will moderate a panel discussion Serve, Attract, Retain: Best Practices on Building a Future-Proof Brokerage It promises to be a great day of training and networking for all.

I look forward to seeing many of you next week at the VAR Conference in Virginia Beach. We are lucky to have this event nearby so come out and see all that the “VAR’s Real Show” has to offer on October 8th and 9th. Have a great fall, and see you around VPAR!

Kimi Dornan, 2014 President
Virginia Peninsula Association of REALTORS®

Meet the Candidate Series: Chandra Patterson – Treasurer

Chandra Patterson - HeadshotChandra Patterson – SFR, SRS – Rose & Womble Real Estate
Candidate for Treasurer
I have been a licensed REALTOR and an active member of VPAR since 1994. I currently serve as Treasurer and would like to serve another term. VPAR has been in transition with the changes in staff. During VPAR’s absence of a CEO, I worked with the Interim CEO and Executive Committee to take on the financial responsibilities ordinarily handled by the CEO. Now that we have a new CEO, I’ve been working with him in this transition period. I believe it would be helpful to continue as Treasurer while we complete this transition.

I’ve been involved in the Association serving on various committees (Budget and Finance, Strategic Planning, Public Policy, Professional Standards, to name a few) from the very beginning of my real estate career. It has allowed me opportunities to learn and grow with experiences that broadened my perspective and understanding of this industry. I’ve gained so much because of it. Therefore, I feel it is just the natural progression for me to give back and be of service to the Association membership.

I am a 2009 graduate of the Virginia Association of Realtors Leadership Academy and currently serve as a VAR RPAC Trustee, NAR’s Federal Political Coordinator (FPC) and Public Policy Coordinating Committee member for NAR. I have always demonstrated a strong commitment to being involved in various activities of the Association. Serving as Treasurer for a second term would continue that commitment. My flexibility, open-mindedness to new ideas, and analytical skills will be major assets to the Board.

Once elected, my primary goal is to assist this Association in its efforts to continue to be fiscally responsible and to find additional ways (outside of dues billing) for increasing our revenues such as offering innovative educational opportunities for members to sharpen their “tools” with the latest market trends and technology information. Additionally, I would also like to assist this Association with continuing to provide information on up-to-date industry related public policy issues as well as maintaining VPAR’s presence as the primary real estate source in the community. As Treasurer and Board Member, I will proudly represent you, the members, on all issues. Thank you for your support!