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Would improvements to a park for landscaping that exceed $15,000.00 require a licensed architect or licensed professional engineer for plan preparation and direct supervision during construction?

Maybe. MCL 339.2011 governs the construction of public works and imposes the requirement for certain projects to require a licensed engineer or architect to oversee the project:

“(1) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (2), the state or a county, city, township, village, school district, or other political subdivision of this state shall not engage in the construction of a public work involving the practice of architecture or professional engineering unless all of the following requirements are met:

(a) The plans and specifications and estimates have been prepared by a licensed architect or licensed professional engineer.

(b) The review of the materials used and completed phases of construction is made under the direct supervision of a licensed architect or licensed professional engineer.

(c) Each survey of land on which the public work has been or is to be constructed is made under the supervision of a licensed professional surveyor.

(2) This section does not apply to a public work for which the contemplated expenditure for the completed project is less than $15,000.00.”

The language in subsection (1) indicates that the requirement for plan preparation and construction supervision by a licensed architect or professional engineer apply only to the construction of a public work that involves “the practice of architecture or professional engineering.” Thus, reading MCL 339.2011 literally, it carves out two exceptions: one for public works under $15,000 and one for public works that do not involve the practice of architecture or professional engineering.

It is possible that landscaping, although a public works project, could be a public work project that does not typically involve an engineer or an architect, and thus exempt from MCL 339.2011. Most often, however, these projects are completed with licensed architects or Township engineers and thus the requirements of MCL 339.2011 should be satisfied

 

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