Land development techniques and trends

Collaborative conference highlights project management, legal, political, and design challenges facing land development professionals.

Few ventures so dramatically change our physical world, while also impacting our citizens’ day-to-day lives, like land development. The variety of considerations and expectations that are explored during the land development process is astounding. Without effective collaboration among well-informed professionals, much of the land available for development today would be unprofitable because of poor project planning, design, and execution. The stakes are high. The timing is critical. Creativity is a must. But without collaboration and trendsetting information, land development projects just don’t succeed.

The 2007 Land Development East Conference & Expo brings together the diverse mix of land development professionals that make these exciting projects happen. Industry experts—handpicked by professionals who understand what drives the business—are on board to deliver to you the trends and technologies that you need to learn about to help make your projects successful.

The two-day conference, produced by ZweigWhite and sponsored by CE News,
CONTECH Bridge Solutions, Eagle Point, MSCW, and Revitalization e-Digest, is crafted for the entire land development team, including civil engineers, real estate developers, architects, landscape architects, town planners, environmental consultants, regulators, financiers, and more. Cross-discipline education, networking, case studies, and peer-to-peer experience sharing are among the planned activities for attendees.

For the many civil engineers who require continuing education to maintain their license, full conference attendance yields 11 professional development hours. A certificate of attendance will be provided for your records.

Highlights of the conference for civil engineers will be the excellent networking opportunities with potential clients, keynote sessions, a mobile workshop, many focus sessions, and the exhibit hall. In fact, the event is well-suited for engineering consultants to attend along with land development clients and project partners, as the program will stimulate dialogue about techniques and trends applicable to your projects. Learn more about keynotes, the mobile workshop, focus sessions, and the exhibitors below; registration information is available online at

Keynote sessions

William H. Hudnut, III, senior resident fellow of The Urban Land Institute, who occupies the Joseph C. Canizaro Chair for Public Policy, will deliver the kick-off session on the morning of April 11. His presentation, "Where? What? Why? Emerging Trends in Real Estate Development," will discuss current trends, including green infrastructure, transportation-oriented development, regional approaches to land use planning, higher densities, affordable housing, downtown revitalization, and urban design. He will explore the impact of possible energy shortages and global warming on the real estate industry. Hudnut also will address skyrocketing development-related costs and highlight favored investment markets and property sectors in the United States.

As a former four-term mayor of Indianapolis and congressman, author, public speaker, television commentator, think tank fellow, elected official, and clergyman, Hudnut is probably best known for establishing "a national reputation for revitalizing his Midwestern city" (The Washington Post). His work with the Urban Land Institute in Washington, D.C., supports this non-profit organization dedicated to promoting quality land use and influencing public policy through research and education.

The keynote on the morning of April 12 explores, "Smart Growth: Are We Effectively Reducing Urban Sprawl?" in a presentation by Jon Thaxton, commissioner of Sarasota County, Fla. He will address the fact that with today’s increasingly popular development trend to build in the smart growth model, the question remains: Are communities effectively reducing urban sprawl? Under closer examination, some believe that little of what is being labeled as new urbanism or smart growth follows the guiding principles that define these community planning methods. We may be creating more of the same sprawl and just labeling it with a new "smart" name. In this session, Thaxton will explore the public policy decision-making process and the consequences of pseudo smart growth developments.

Prior to Thaxton’s election to the Board of County Commissioners of Sarasota County in 2000, he was a growth management (including smart growth) environmental activist for 20 years. His numerous local, state, and national awards include twice receiving the Nature Conservancy’s Grassroots New Urbanism Award of Excellence. Thaxton has also been featured in National Geographic magazine for his work in preserving endangered species.

Mobile workshop

On Thursday afternoon, attendees who register in advance for the site tour of Horizon West and Baldwin Park will visit two highly-regarded Orlando projects to discuss lessons learned. A. Geoffrey McNeill, AICP, RLA, vice president of Collaboration & Innovative Design, will lead the tour. A box lunch will be provided.

Horizon West is a landmark visioning and planning study initiated in the early 1990s as an alternative to incremental, piecemeal sprawl. This was the first time in Florida that growth management policy was linked to community pattern. Based on the work that was completed for the Horizon West Study Area, the Florida Legislature adopted Statute 163.3245, Optional Sector Plans, in 1998. The sector planning legislation allows the Florida Department of Community Affairs to enter into agreements to authorize local governments to prepare specific area plans that, once approved, allow development to occur without being subject to the thresholds for developments of regional impact. Attendees will visit the results of the sector planning via the Horizon West Town Center, Village of Bridgewater, and Lakeside Village—all currently under development. Both villages exemplify the market-driven approach that provides a diversity of housing and community creation through traditional and contemporary planning principles applied to greenfield development.

Baldwin Park applies traditional new urban planning principles to infill reuse and redevelopment in this former Orlando Naval Training Center. Parks and lakes cover 450 acres of Baldwin Park, nearly 40 percent of the community property. This award-winning, successful development emphasizes pedestrian- and bike-friendly streetscapes; a greenway system of trails linking the community’s recreational areas and Town Center concept that ties the community together.

(Advance registration for this session is required. Contact Amy Walsh before April 1, 2007 to reserve your place.)

Focus session

While a complete list of the 28 focus sessions is provided on page ??, below are a few stand-out sessions, which will be of particular interest to civil engineers. Complete session descriptions and presenter biographies are available online at

Gerhard Renner, founding partner of Airborne 1, will present, "Airborne Laser Terrain Mapping: Applications for Urban Development." This session will cover how LiDAR works, its accuracy, and how it can be applied to projects in the urban development arena. In addition, examples will be given of how LiDAR has been used for urban planning and site preparation.

The session, "Advanced Technology Use in Land Development Projects" by Steve Stanfill, P.E., P.L.S., technical director of Bentley Systems Inc., will discuss subdivisions, commercial site design, and techniques for using multiple data sources, such a LiDAR. In addition, this session will cover field data collection and preliminary design using publicly available GIS data and how this data can be integrated and passed to engineering design. Moreover, the impact of municipal planning and zoning, along with engineering design considerations related to software technology will be discussed.

Drawing on his 30 years of experience, Michael F Stephen, Ph.D., P.G., president of Coastal Engineering Consultants Inc., will present "Obstacles & Opportunities: Coastal & Wetland Development Strategies." In this session, Stephen will discuss how the obstacles of coastal and estuarine wetland sites for land development may be turned into opportunities, and optimal strategies for this type of specific land development. Considerations include tidal flow patterns, estuary settings, coastal erosion, hydrology, environmentally distressed and sensitive vegetation, wetland transition zones, and related biological issues.

In "Water Resource Planning for Private Development," W. Kirk Martin, P.G., vice president of Camp Dresser & McKee Inc., will discuss strategies, such as conjunctive use of ground and surface waters, seasonal storage, multiple source development, separation of water use demands, and use of alternative sources, to meet the water resource needs of a development community. In addition, Martin will discuss public-private partnerships developed to bring solutions to long-standing regional issues such as flowway restoration, large-scale storage needs, water quality restoration, developing public water supplies, and co-locating utility infrastructure.

Certainly, there are far more focus sessions of interest than space to present in detail here. Check out to learn more.


The Land Development East Conference & Expo provides attendees a look at products and services targeted to the market. The following exhibitors (as of press time) provided information about some of the products and services on display.

ADS—Advanced Drainage Systems
Products: HDPE corrugated pipe
Description: Advanced Drainage Systems, Inc. is the world’s largest producer of HDPE corrugated plastic pipe. Founded in 1966, it serves the stormwater drainage industry through a global network of more than 40 domestic and international manufacturing plants and more than 30 distribution centers. In addition to its flagship N-12 pipe, the company offers stormwater quality units, leaching chambers, and a complete line of fittings and other accessories.

Products: Vacuum sewage collection system
Description: For more than 30 years, AIRVAC has provided cost-effective, vacuum sewer system technology solutions for existing communities, new land developments, commercial and industrial buildings, and the marine industry. The company manufactures vacuum valves, valve pits, and vacuum station equipment, as well as assists with the design, construction, and operation of complete vacuum sewer systems.

Products: Stormwater treatment solutions
Description: BaySaver Technologies is a leading stormwater treatment solutions provider specializing in filtration (BayFilter), separation (BaySeparator), systems design, expert technical guidance, and learning opportunities for stormwater professionals.

Bentley Systems, Inc.
Products: PowerCivil, MicroStation, and ProjectWise
Description: Bentley’s comprehensive software portfolio for the civil, building, plant, and geospatial sectors spans architecture, engineering, construction, and operations. Bentley PowerCivil—an integrated, multidiscipline product for survey, graphical coordinate geometry, digital terrain modeling, site grading, water and sewer, storm drainage, and street design—is the complete software solution for land development and site design. PowerCivil users can increase design efficiency through the program’s integrated civil and platform tools, stable design environment, proven technology, construction take offs, and original object-oriented design. PowerCivil features relationship modeling, so when one piece of a site plan changes, other parts update automatically.

Bowyer-Singleton & Associates
Products: Engineering and surveying services
Description: Bowyer-Singleton & Associates provides professional planning, engineering, environmental, and surveying and mapping services to land developers, transportation agencies, governmental agencies, engineering firms, builders and property owners throughout the state of Florida.

Products: Land Planner Suite and Tract Manager software
Description: CADTracts’ Land Planner Suite, which integrates with most Autodesk products, allows users to enter and store project design criteria within a drawing file. Users can have multiple design scenarios and layout studies generated efficiently and automatically. Depending on layout arrangement, file size, and unit size, units—anything from lots, parking stalls, to townhomes and marina slips—can be updated, labeled, and laid out precisely and repetitively in any arrangement in a quarter of the time as manual drafting methods. Using Tract Manager software, units can be organized into groups and subgroups and hatched accordingly. This software also offers professionals and designers the opportunity to build custom reports and summary tables displaying land use summaries, unit and group properties, and layout information.

Delta Engineers
Products: Land development bridge design services
Description: Delta Engineers’ specialized bridge engineering services can save money on land development projects that require a bridge crossing. The firm says it understands that the design of a bridge on a land development project can be a "deal breaker" if the most economical solution is not determined. As an independent, professional engineering firm, Delta Engineers does not sell any bridge products and is able to give a comprehensive, unbiased opinion. The firm assists in sorting out the numerous bridge options to determine the application that most closely meets requirements.
Service: Project bid notification
Description: is a leading resource for obtaining new bid opportunities for environmental, demolition, contracting, engineering, waste, and analytical projects. Subscriptions are available on a monthly or annual basis.

Orenco Systems, Inc.
Products: Onsite wastewater treatment equipment
Description: For 25 years, Orenco Systems has researched, designed, and manufactured leading-edge, onsite and decentralized wastewater treatment technologies. Its wastewater solutions include watertight fiberglass tanks, in-tank pumping and filtration systems, advanced secondary treatment systems, community collection systems, and electrical controls. Orenco’s flagship products include AdvanTex Treatment Systems for both residential and commercial markets, coupled with VeriComm and TCOM remote telemetry systems for round-the-clock monitoring and control. Orenco recently introduced a lightweight and watertight fiberglass tank.

Products: Singletrap and Doubletrap stormwater detention systems
Description: StormTrap offers precast concrete modular stormwater detention systems that are custom designed to meet each site’s unique characteristics. The system’s innovative design maximizes the total volume stored while minimizing a project’s overall cost, and provides a large infiltrative surface area that allows water to recharge back into the soil. Completely contained systems also are available.

U.S. Bridge
Products: Pre-engineered vehicular and pedestrian bridges
Description: U.S. Bridge offers pre-engineered, prefabricated, steel vehicular and pedestrian bridges designed for use on state, county, and local road systems. The company also provides structures for private and residential developments, as well as for bike trails and golf courses.

Vollmer Associates LLP
Products: Engineering and planning services
Description: Vollmer Associates LLP has provided engineering, architecture, landscape architecture, survey, and planning services to public and private clients since 1959. Its multidisciplinary staff of more than 620 provides clients a full range of services from 24 offices throughout the Northeast. The firm’s assignments range from small property surveys to large, multi-discipline projects with construction values greater than $300 million. Managed by a partnership, the firm is committed to providing quality services, to designing projects with an expertise and sensitivity that balances function with aesthetics, and to providing partner-level involvement and management in all projects.

Williams Creek Consulting, Inc.
Products: Ecological engineering
Description: Williams Creek Consulting, Inc., specializes in natural system design and consulting within the public and private sectors. Its core ecological engineering disciplines include: natural and biological treatment systems for wastewater and stormwater design; integrated site design using sustainable and low-impact solutions for water quality improvement, habitat preservation, improved connectivity, and reduction in short-term construction and long-term maintenance costs; local, state, and federal regulatory consulting; stream, river, and waterway restoration; and localized to regional watershed planning and implementation. Additionally, the firm provides turn-key natural resource construction management services for all of its sustainable designs.


CONTECH Bridge Solutions
Products: Bridges
Description: CONTECH Bridge Solutions offers a comprehensive line of vehicular and pedestrian bridges. A collection of precast concrete, truss, and metal plate products include the CON/SPAN Bridge System, the BEBO Arch System, Steadfast Bridges and Continental Bridges, and CONTECH Structural Plate. The CONTECH Structural Plate product line offers the advantages of metal plate and aluminum bridge structures, including light weight, durability, and ease of installation. Structures can be pre-assembled on-site and lifted into place without heavy or specialized equipment. With spans from 12 to 102 feet, BEBO and CON/SPAN precast concrete arch bridges can be installed quickly with minimal long-term maintenance. The precast modular systems offer set-in-place construction and aesthetically pleasing solutions. Steadfast and Continental steel truss bridges provide a complete line of vehicular and pedestrian bridge options in varying styles and with several finish options. Vehicular bridges span up to 120 feet, and pedestrian bridges up to 400 feet.

Eagle Point
Products: Pinnacle Series, Fiscal Perspectives, and Eagle Point 2007
Description: The Eagle Point Pinnacle Series provides a set of tools and techniques that can be used to define, publish, and monitor everyday workflow processes. Comprised of the Process Mapper, Task Navigator, and Workflow Monitor applications, this solution is intended to increase productivity by diagramming workflow processes electronically and communicating them to employees. Eagle Point’s Fiscal Perspectives Consulting Services help small to mid-size land development organizations make crucial financial decisions and evaluate the company’s financial performance by leveraging Eagle Point’s relationship with one of the top 100 CPA firms in the United States. These services allow firms to better leverage their time with clients and employees and spend less time planning for and managing the organization’s finances. Eagle Point 2007 is a broad line of desktop products developed for AutoCAD, MicroStation, and BricsCad to assist civil engineers, land surveyors, landscape architects, and other design professionals produce deliverables according to clients’ standards.

Products: Engineering and land development planning services
Description: MSCW, Inc., is a collaborative design firm consisting of community planners and designers, civil engineers, transportation planners and engineers, environmental scientists, landscape architects, economists, and other professionals dedicated to creating lasting communities throughout Florida and the Caribbean. Based in Orlando since 1977, the firm has consulted on high-profile, smart growth developments such as Baldwin Park, Horizon West, North Boca Village Center, North Jacksonville Vision & Master Plan, and The Villages.

CE News
IBM Plaza, 330 N. Wabash, Ste. 3201
Chicago, IL 60611
Product: Monthly business magazine for civil engineers
Description: CE News, the magazine "for the business of civil engineering," has award-winning editorial that delivers a full array of topics each month to help civil engineers and land surveyors who work for private consulting engineering firms and governmental agencies advance their businesses, their careers, and the industry as a whole.

Revitalization e-Digest
IBM Plaza, 330 N. Wabash, Ste. 3201
Chicago, IL 60611
Product: Weekly e-mail newsletter
Description: Revitalization e-Digest is a weekly e-mail newsletter that covers the business of revitalization. It highlights news, trends, legislation, projects, and events related to the business of community renewal and natural resource restoration.

Conference Agenda

7:30 a.m.—8:30 a.m. Registration & Continental Breakfast
8:30 a.m.—8:45 a.m. Welcome & Introduction
8:45 a.m.—9:45 a.m. KEYNOTE SESSION
Where? What? Why? Emerging Trends in Real Estate Development
William H. Hudnut, III, The Urban Land Institute
Senior Resident Fellow, Public Policy
9:45 a.m.—10:15 a.m. Networking Break
10:15 a.m.—11:15 a.m. CONCURRENT FOCUS SESSIONS
11:15 a.m.—11:30 a.m. Networking Break
11:30 a.m.—12:30 p.m. CONCURRENT FOCUS SESSIONS
12:30 p.m.—1:45 p.m. Networking Lunch
2:45 p.m.—3:15 p.m. Networking Break
4:15 p.m.—4:30 p.m. Networking Break
5:30 p.m.—7:00 p.m. Networking Cocktail Reception

7:30 a.m.—8:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast
8:30 a.m.—8:45 a.m. Welcome to Day Two
8:45 a.m.—9:45 a.m. KEYNOTE SESSION
Smart Growth: Are We Effectively Reducing Urban Sprawl?
Jon Thaxton, Commissioner, Sarasota County, Board of County Commissioners
9:45 a.m.—10:00 a.m. Networking Break
10:00 a.m.—11:00 a.m. CONCURRENT FOCUS SESSIONS
11:00 a.m.—11:30 a.m. Networking Break
11:15 a.m.—2:15 p.m. MOBILE WORKSHOP (Box lunch provided)
Site Tour of Horizon West and Baldwin Park Communities
11:30 a.m.—12:30 p.m. CONCURRENT FOCUS SESSIONS
12:30 p.m.—1:30 p.m. Networking Lunch
2:30 p.m.—2:45 p.m. Networking Break
2:45 p.m.—3:30 p.m. KEYNOTE PANEL SESSION
How to Build a Sustainable Community: The Stakeholders Square Off
3:30 p.m. Conference Program Concludes

Special Activities

Networking Cocktail Reception
Wednesday, April 11, 2007, 5:30 p.m.—7:00 p.m.

Mobile Workshop: Site Tour of Horizon West and Baldwin Park
Thursday, April 12, 2007 11:15 am—2:15 pm

Focus Sessions

After Kelo: What is the Future of Eminent Domain?
Timothy D. Bates, partner, Robinson & Cole LLP

Benefits and Disadvantages of Real Property: Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, Restrictions, and Easements
Edward Benes, P.E., Esq., corporate council, Manhard Consulting, Ltd.

Advanced Technology Use in Land Development Projects
Steve Stanfill, P.E., P.L.S., technical director, Bentley Systems Inc.

Obstacles & Opportunities: Coastal & Wetland Development Strategies
Michael F. Stephen, Ph.D., P.G., president, Coastal Engineering Consultants Inc.

Communicating, Collaborating, and Creating for Success: Inside Secrets of the Super Project Managers
John Doehring, Principal, managing director Business Planning and Marketing Consulting, ZweigWhite

Drilling Downtown: Subsurface Mineral Exploration and Production in Urban Terrain
Dale R. Plato, Ph.D., Huitt-Zollars, Inc.

Earning Green from Green: Opportunities in Sustainable Site Design
Constance A. Owens, P.E., president, Engineering & Environmental Design, Inc., and Wendy W. Landry, AIA, LEED AP, managing member, GreenTime, LLC

Erosion Control: Implementing Compliance and Cost-Saving Strategies
James R. Lenneman, CPESC-IT, senior trainer, Paradigm Engineering

Estimating Compliance Costs for Land Development
Joel Jonker, CPESC, VP, client operations, Paradigm Engineering

Floodplain Management: Planning to Minimize Your Risk
Dale Lehman, URS Corporation

Innovative Planning Strategies: Florida Sector Plans and Rural Land Stewardship
Richard W. Unger, AICP, CNU, team leader, MSCW, Inc.

Managing Your Project Workload to Produce Consistent Results
Damon Seys, engineering consultant, Eagle Point

Public-Private Partnerships: Demystifying the Bid Process
John Falcone, president,

Show Me the Money: Creative Solutions to Closing Project Development Funding Shortfalls
Ralph J. Basile, principal, Basile Baumann Prost & Associates, Inc.

Site Constraint Analysis: Evaluating Risk and Opportunity in Land Development
John Dietrich, ASLA, land development specialist, RLK

Stormwater Management Strategies
Scott I. McClelland, vice president, Camp Dresser & McKee Inc.

Sustainable Development: Positively Impacting the Triple Bottom Line
Thomas A. Dickey, vice president, Duke Realty Corporation, Neil B. Myers, principal, Williams Creek Consulting, and Fred Prazeau, Context Design

The Tangled Web We Weave: Navigating the Land Entitlement Process
Jennifer L. Morton, principal, Land Design South

How to Clear Up a Traffic Jam in 90 days or Less
Steven J. Stuebs, P.E., president, Avid Engineering, Inc.

Turning Brownfields into Goldfields: How to Minimize Environmental Cleanup Costs
Nicholas DeRose, P.G., principal, Langan Engineering and Environmental Services, Inc.

Beyond the Fine Print: Understanding Design Services and Construction Contracts
Edward Benes, P.E., Esq., corporate council, Manhard Consulting, Ltd.

Values-Based Community Planning: Integrating Cultural Assessments into Market Studies & Land Plans
Kathleen Rose, CCIM, Rose & Associates Southeast, Inc.

Water Resource Planning for Private Development
W. Kirk Martin, P.G., vice president, Camp Dresser & McKee Inc.

3-D High Definition Laser Scanning: Technology is Changing the Industry
Kenneth Stigner, L.S., partner, Vollmer Associates LLP

Airborne Laser Terrain Mapping: Applications for Urban Development
Gerhard Renner, founding partner, Airborne 1

Innovative Tools & Techniques of Prefabricated Bridge Components
Ralph Verrastro, P.E., president, Delta Engineers, PC

Case Study: Turning Around Community Wastewater
Eric Lanning, Ph.D, Orenco Systems, Inc.

Solving Design Challenges and Enhancing Aesthetics with Custom Bridge Systems
Robert I. Morris, CONTECH Bridge Solutions

For complete session descriptions and presenter bios, visit

Posted in Uncategorized | January 29th, 2014 by

Comments are closed.