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Regulatory Affairs

George McClure Builder Action Fund

The George McClure Builder Action Fund (GMBAF) provides funds for legal and regulatory issues that impact housing. The GMBAF Committee reviews and approves or disapproves all applications for funds from the “George McClure Builder Action Fund”. They also determine whether HBAG should be a party to the legal action in any matter for which funds are approved. The committee reports all activity to the Board of Directors at each Board meeting.


The GMBAF provides legal assistance to home builders across the state to promote a healthy business environment for the residential construction industry and to keep housing affordable by reducing regulatory costs. The Fund prioritizes lawsuits which can provide a state-wide legal precedent for builders to use in potential future litigation and enforces local building department compliance with established state and federal law. The George McClure Builder Action Fund provides counsel – both legal and member-to-member – on issues of statewide importance such as impact fees, zoning, environmental regulations, and others. The Fund has participated in state-wide coalitions with other industry stake-holders to cover the cost of litigation – including legal fees, expert witnesses, and other costs.


The George McClure Builder Action Fund has a long and storied history in the Georgia which includes many successful judgements in cases that have improved business conditions for builders state-wide. Each and every local HBA across the state has participated in and received benefits from the work done by the Fund. Historically, the Home Builders Association of Georgia had two separate funds, the Legal Defense Fund (started in 1987) and the Regulatory Affairs Fund (started in 1998) to assist with legal issues and regulatory issues, respectively (and separately). In early 2000, those two funds were merged to create the GMBAF.


Composition: The outgoing President at the end of their term appoints 2 members, 1 of which must be a Past President, for terms of 2 years. The incoming President appoints 3 members for 1 year terms, 2 of which must be Past Presidents with 1 designated as the committee Chair.


2023-2024 “George McClure Builder Action Fund” Committee Roster

Chair: Lamar Smith (Greater Savannah HBA) Chairman – Smith Family Homes (2023-24)

Tim Williams (North GA HBA) Compliance Officer – America’s Home Place Inc. (2023-25)

John Royer (Greater ATL HBA) Attorney – O’Kelley & Sorohan Attorneys at Law, LLC (2023-24)

Bob Barnard (Midwest GA HBA) Owner – Barnard & Associates Remodeling Inc. (2023-24)

Johnny Cargill (Greater Columbus HBA) Owner – John R. Cargill Construction (2022-24)

Bobby Cleveland (Middle GA HBA) Senior Vice President – Commercial Development and Acquisitions – Fickling & Co. Inc. (2022-24)


South River Watershed Alliance (SRWA) Inc v. Jeffery Cown, Director, EPD, GA DNR

GMBAF Spend: $2,858

2023 NPDES Construction Stormwater General Permit, which would have become effective on August 1, was appealed by a petition from the SRWA. The “new” permit is stayed until the appeal is resolved. EPD has more information about the permit and appeal HERE


SRWA claims the 2023 permit violates state and federal law because it could allow a discharge into an impaired stream which cannot accept an additional discharge without violating state water quality standards. HBAG and other industry stakeholders argue the claims unjustly upend 50 years’ worth of EPD regulatory and permitting programs.


HBAG was asked, along with other development industry stakeholders such as Metro Atlanta Chamber, Georgia Manufacturing Association, Associated General Contractors, Georgia Poultry Federation and others, to participate in funding an amicus brief in support of the State. That brief was filed with the court on October 20 and you can read the Brief here.


HBAG hopes a verdict in favor of the State will ensure the re-establishment of the 2023 NPDES General Permit and the smooth continuation of environmental permitting for construction and development. We expect a conclusion to the litigation by the end of 2023