What can a LA stamp?


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    I know this depends on each state and jurisdiction, just looking for general conversation.

    What specifically can LA’s stamp? Where do we normally see pushback?

    Site Plan?
    Grading Plans? (at what point do they want a PE?)
    Stormwater Management Plan?
    Stormwater BMPs and Green Infrastructure?

    Anybody had, let’s say, a jurisdiction push back on a grading plan stamped by an LA? What have you done in that situation?

    Andrew Garulay, RLA

    It is very much state to state. A state with a Practice Act may have specific things that an LA can stamp while states with a Title Act pretty much allows you to do what any other person with no license can do except you can call yourself an LA. I see many Practice Acts as being little more than a Title Act to be honest with you. But, some states do grant the authority to design certain things that are otherwise restricted such as drainage.

    The reality is that our profession is so broadly defined that even the licensing is not very specific. That does not mean that it is not vibrant. It just means that there are few things that specifically require an LA. However, there are a lot of things that a particular LA may be the best person (or firm) to accomplish.

    Any person or firm has to be vigilant and understanding whom is doing what in their market and making sure those that have work that fits your skill set know about you and have good reason to want to use you instead of someone else … be that someone else an engineer, or architect, or landscape contractor, …. even Interior Designers are trying to do “our work”.

    Kevin Reff

    In Tennessee, we can all cross stamp each others work (i.e. architects, engineers, la, etc.) if we are “competent” in that particular area. However, governmental agencies can place higher restrictions than those imposed by the State. I have had agencies prohibit my LA stamp on grading plans. I argued, but eventually lost. I was told the State laws are the MINIMUM requirements and municipalities/agencies can add additional regulations.

    I deal with multiple State and municipal governmental agencies on a daily basis and over the years I have found it fruitless to fight against them. Fighting or arguing your point only serves to create ill will toward you and your clients. Even though I was right in many cases, and the law was on my side, I was told to “play the game”. It’s much cheaper to install a dozen trees than go to court and argue the case.

    The one thing to remember when stamping plans is that you are assuming liability for any potential problems that may arise.

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