Sonoma County Superior Court judge Mark Tansil late last month ordered the city of Santa Rosa to pay the Building Industry Association of the Bay Area and its legal counsel, Pacific Legal Foundation, $243,417.50 in legal fees.

In December, the judge ruled in the building trade group's favor in Home Builders Association of Northern California, Inc., v. City of Santa Rosa.

Judge Tansil found that the city erred in adopting a 2008 ordinance that required homebuilders to agree to be annexed into a special tax district as a condition for receiving building permits. The court found that the ordinance went against a state Constitutional requirement for a two-thirds vote of affected landowners before such an annexation and against the Equal Protection element of the U.S. Constitution.***

[caption id="attachment_34888" align="alignleft" width="176"] Robert Fedrick[/caption]

Robert Fedrick, 56, youngest son of North Bay general engineering contracting icon C.R. Fedrick, is restarting his father's namesake company, which was founded in 1948, acquired by Arizona-based contracting giant Sundt Corp. in 1972 and renamed as Sundt in 2004.

The father in the early 1970s started Novato Construction, now Napa-based Nova Group, with an another son, Ron Fedrick.

The elder Fedrick died last July at age 84.

For the past six months, Robert Fedrick, as vice president for the heavy civil division in the Western region for Sundt, has been working toward finishing that company's projects under his jurisdiction before bidding under the C.R. Fedrick class A, B and C-10 licenses. To start, Robert Fedrick is bidding on jobs in the $500,000 to $4 million range.

"The company has a lot of history with long-line fiber-optic networks, putting in thousands of miles," he said. "All that dark fiber isn't dark anymore, and it looks like fiber projects will be coming back this year."

Another heavy civil contracting opportunity is in upgrading the state's aging water and electrical infrastructure.

April 8 was his last day with Sundt, and he purchased basic excavation, cutting and welding equipment from Sundt. C.R. Fedrick, currently based in Forestville, is looking to sublease some of the company's former yard space in Novato.***

The Veterans Home of California at Yountville received certification under the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design for New Construction project rating system following a $17 million renovation of the Member Services Building, according to the California Department of Veterans Affairs. The project achieved Gold-level certification, the second-highest.

The two-year project brings much-needed cooling systems for the 1,000-plus residents. The facility lacked air-conditioning and had to be closed at times when up-valley temperatures soared, according to the department.***

H2hotel, completed last July at 219 Healdsburg Ave. near the Healdsburg Plaza, recently received Gold-level certification under the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design for New Construction project rating system.

It's a project by Piazza Hotel Group, also co-owners of nearby Hotel Healdsburg. The design team included San Francisco-based architecture firm David Baker and Partners, also designer of the other hotel, Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture and interior designers Marie Fisher and Jennifer Gadiel. Midstate Construction was the general contractor.

The four-story, 36-room hotel was designed to use 27.8 percent less energy than the standard California hotel. More than 85 percent of construction waste was recycled or reused in the project. The wave-like landscaped roof absorbs and filters rainwater, contributing to 60 percent of the project site being landscaped.•••

Submit items for this column to Jeff Quackenbush at jquackenbush@busjrnl.com, 707-521-4256 or fax 707-521-5292.