The Hot Springs Village Public Services Department hosted a home builders meeting on Tuesday, March 12, 2024. Matt Broom, Associate Public Services Director, said they plan to have a builders meeting once a year to update everyone on permitting and build-out process changes and to give builders a chance to ask questions. The meeting was mandatory for builders new to the Village, but all builders were welcome.

Staff attending the meeting were (in the order they introduced themselves) Beverly Ellison, Supervisor for Permitting and Inspections; Glen Robertson, Permit Inspector; Tom Ryan, Site Inspector; Ken Unger, Public Services Director; Danny McNally, Building Inspector Number 2; Ron Poshard, Building Inspector Number 2; Tom Benfield, Community Support Manager.

Also present for a portion of the meeting was Hot Springs Village POA General Manager Kelly Hale.

Why is a Builders Meeting necessary?

Unger stated, “We have experienced builders who stripped lake lots without installing soil erosion measures. Our goal is to resolve issues like this. We don’t want to waste our time issuing stop work orders, or coming in after the fact, or paying half a million dollars to dredge a lake filled with silt from the job sites. We think this is a worthwhile investment in time for you and us so that all these things are taken care of up front.”

Reorganization of Public Services and ‘Do No Harm’

Unger said that Public Services was reorganized at the end of 2023. Charlie Brown, who was previously over Permitting and Inspections and what is now Community Support, left the POA, putting Permitting and Inspections under the umbrella of Unger. Unger said there are a lot of synergies between the new-build process and Public Services; for example, Public Services is responsible for roads impacted by utility installation at new homes. “My hope in taking over this organization is to help the builders help us and make our lives much easier. Our goal is to make Hot Springs Village a good place to build. We want good builders, but it can’t be a situation where we are paying a price, in any way, due to construction. We want to be accommodating, but I used this expression last year: ‘Do no harm.'”

We want good builders and we want to help you be successful in Hot Springs Village.

Ken Unger, HSVPOA Public Services Director

Unger said he is confident in the POA team, including Broom and Beverly Ellison, who has four years of experience in Permitting and Inspections.

Builder/POA pre-construction meetings are required

Broom said pre-construction meetings are now mandatory. “The pre-construction meeting is not a grueling, long meeting. It is just a short site visit. Two inspectors or I will meet you on the building site before it is cleared. Issuance of the permit will not occur until after the Pre-construction Meeting.” Some of the items discussed at the Pre-construction meeting will be:

  • Discuss and approve the storm-water management plan. This is for erosion prevention and “Do no harm to surrounding areas.”
  • Identify and discuss key areas of drainage. The POA is not a drainage design team; rather, it is the builders’ responsibility. The POA wants to ensure drainage does not adversely affect other properties. Unger said this issue takes up a lot of staff time because they have to respond to drainage issues of homes built many years ago. Also, he has seen recently built lake homes where the home’s main floor is at the sea wall elevation. Everything should slope to the lake. Unger asked, “How do you do that when the main floor is at the same elevation as the sea wall?” Unger pleaded with the builders to pay attention to the elevations of the homes to guarantee proper drainage.
  • Pavement conditions—Pavement conditions are noted to protect the builder and the POA. It is to determine if any damage occurs to roads during construction. Photos will be taken. This is an opportunity for the builder to note existing damage to the road. The roads are often not damaged by the builders but by the subcontractors and material suppliers. POA Governing Documents allow the POA to back-charge the builder for incurred damages to the POA property. Unger stated that there are ways to minimize road impact. Broom said recently, on his own initiative, a contractor repaired street damage that he had caused. Broom also stated that the POA would be reasonable.

Hale asked the builders to be conscious of the ditches and leave them clean. If the ditches don’t drain properly, water can get under the street pavement, causing deterioration.

We want our partnership with our builders and want you to be successful. Cooper [CCI] left here in ’06 and handed the management to the POA Members. When Cooper left, they took their checkbook with them. As Members, we have to take care of the community as it ages. It is very important that we protect what we have.

Some of the buiders are very responsible. Other builders leave our roads damaged, whether it is due to their actions or the actions of their contractors. The biggest thing we see is when they turn the wheels of the truck, they are damaging the asphalt. We do not have DOT-rated side streets.

The homes you build are a representation of your corporation.

Kelly Hale, HSVPOA General Manager

Things needed early in the building process

  • Portable toilets
  • Rock driveway
  • Installation of a culvert, if needed
  • On-site trash container

Online Public Services Request Form to Request Inspections

Broom said that they are seeing some instances where inspections are not being done when they should be. They are trying to eliminate this and will be watching carefully.

An Online Public Services Request Form is available on the Explore the Village website. Residents can use this form to communicate with the Public Services Department issues or work needing to be done. A dropdown option on this form is for a “Construction Permit Inspection.” Here is a link to the Public Service webpage: Click the blue button labeled “CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT FORM.” Under “Type of Services,” choose “Construction Permit Inspection.” Type in what type of inspection you are requesting and the date requested.

Job-site excavation and fill dirt

There have been some new home building sites where too much fill dirt is being brought in. Fill dirt tends to not provide a stable, solid, and compacted building site. Some fill materials are better than others. If bringing in extensive fill dirt, a compaction test should occur. We don’t want houses built on a non-stable foundation. If a builder builds on a non-stable site due to excessive fill dirt, he may be liable if the house settles a lot.

Job cards – permits posted on job sites

The building permit is also known as a job card. Ellison said, “The reason that we ask that the permit be posted on the job site is not only to help staff know we are at the right job and that you want a specific inspection, but it also helps the suppliers when they bring in material. Materials get dropped at the wrong location.” The subcontractors review the permit to see if the inspector has signed off.

Ellison said they also need the “As Built Survey” before the final inspection. The inspectors use the survey to see if extra concrete, retaining walls, etc., were added in the sideline easements or building setbacks.

Final inspection

Broom said when the inspector is called in for the final inspection, the POA expects to see a clean lot, but the landscaping may not be completed. All extra building materials and trash should be removed.


Landscaping for a new home must be completed within six months of the final inspection. Broom said they are finding more un-landscaped properties beyond this time. Broom said, “We don’t want to require landscaping before the final inspection. We just want to make sure it is understood how important it is to have a landscaping plan approved. Spec homes are different. The person buying the home will be responsible for the landscaping.”

There should be no holes next to the foundation where water can pool and damage the foundation. All homes should have a slope down away from the home to protect the foundation.

Erosion control measures for lake lots need to remain in place before landscaping

Benfield said, “When the builder finishes the house, erosion control measures such as silt fences, etc., should remain to prevent silt from entering the lakes. The builder must communicate with the new homeowner why the erosion control measures are left in place.”

Parking off the road during the construction process and logs in the road right-of-way

Construction-related vehicles should park off the road if possible so they do not interfere with trash pickup or traffic. If this is not possible, then only one side of the road should be used for parking. Logs should be removed from the road right-of-way within seven days.

Hot Springs Village POA Builds Productive Relationship With Builders Matt Broom Ken Unger

Matt Broom, Associate Director of P.S., conducts builders meeting.
Right: Glen Robertson; Front: Ken Unger

By Cheryl Dowden


Ken Unger
Director Public Services
Hot Springs Village

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