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June 19, 2009     Cape Gazette
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June 19, 2009

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Cape Gazette I Business & Estate FRIDAY, JUNE 19 - MONDAY, JUNE 22, 2009 37 Bethany Blues goes green with new roof garden Special dirt and plants will help reduce cooling costs By Ron MacArthur While diners are enjoying bar- becue at Bethany Blues of Lewes, they won't have the foggiest no- tion they are sitting beneath a garden. Restaurant owners began in- stalling a green roof over a large portion of the restaurant Tues- day, June 16. Owners Dick Hei- denberger, Steve Montgomery, Kevin Roberts and Jim Weisger- ber have been interested in green-roof technology since see- ing one at Black Ankle Vineyards in Mt Airy, Md. Weisgerber and Roberts assisted in installing a green roof at the Black Ankle tasting room building in 2008. However, as Weisgerber point- ed out, this time the job was done fight - with the help of a crane. "We aased ladders and buckets before," he said. Element Design of Lewes in- corporated the installation of the green roof into the architectural plan. Consulting on the project was Sigi Koko of Down to Earth Design of Ambler, Pa. All me- chanical and heating and air- conditioning equipment was lo- cated specifically to allow for the green-roof area. The additional weight from the green roof was calculated and allowed for in the structural plan. Parapet walls were created to retain the soil and plants. Bethany Blues partners work- ing with Element Design and landscaper John Glenn of Ameri- can Hardscapes are doing the in- stallation. They were busy on the first day of the project put- ting down a special drainage ma- terial and a barrier of stone around the perimeter of the see- tion of roof designated for the garden. The stones will help to keep the dirt and plants away from the edge of the roof. A spe- cial dirt-like material called green-roof planting media was then spread over the roof at a depth of 4 to 6 inches. Plants designed for arid cli 7 mates will be planted on the roof. "They need very little water, so we won't need to come up here and water them," Weisgerber said. The reason for the green roof is to cut down on energy costs and in turn reduce Bethany Blues' carbon footpr'.mt, as well as prolong the lifespan of the roof. Weisgerber said the garden should absorb enough heat to re- duce the temperature on the roof to the actual air temperature. That means a lot when the tern- perature on the roof, even though itis made with a white, heat-reflecring material, can easi- ly reach two times that of the air temperature on a hot day. "It should really help us on our cooling costs," he said. He said studies have shown that a typical one-story building with a green roof and 4 inches of growing medium would result in a 25 percent reduction in sum- mer cooling needs. "Our roof will last longer. It is estimated that green roofs will last up to twice as long as con- ventional roofs, resulting in de- creased maintenance and sav- ings in replacement costs," Weis- gerber saiParmer Partner Jim Weisgerber holds some of the plants that will be planted on the green roof.. RON MACARTHUR PHOTOS A CRANE FROM GEORGE W. PLUMMER & SON |NC, is being used to raise materials up onto the roof of Bethany Blues of Lewes to construct a green-roof gar- den. John Glenn, owner of American Hardscapes, left, and Kevin Roberts, one of the partners of Bethany Blues of Lewes, pour stones around the perimeter of the green- roof garden atop the restaurant along Route 1. Construction of the garden began Tuesday, June 16. Do liens from previous owner carry over with new sale? Dear Edith: My husband and I are buying a repossessed, fore- closed house from a bane It is a new house, and we know for a fact that many of the people who worked on it or supplied vinyl, etc., have not been paid by the builder, and no one knows where he is now. We are closing on the house this week, paying all cash. The man who put a very ex- pensive retaining wall on the property told us he was coming after whoever buys the property. We have been assured by our Realtor that he can't do that, and the bank is giving us clear rifle. Somehow that iust doesn't con- vince me. We don't understand one paragraph in the contract stating what we will be responsi- ble for. Is it true we Cannot be held responsible, or should we buy title insurance? - M. and C.N. Dear M. and C.N.: You may not have anything to worry about, but still... I'm sure your real estate agent is good at what he or she does, but that's not where you should look for legal information. Is the agent ready to back that up with a written promise to pay any bills you might end up responsi- ble for? Is the bank? Take all your documents, in- cluding that paragraph yo u don't understand, to a lawyer who specializes in real estate, and do it immediately. And yes, in any event, get rifle insurance in place before you part with your mon- each is liable for the bills. The rule is that each may take as a deduction whatever he or she actually pays. Changed since the '70s Mrs. Lank: You wrote that even if you send in extra money to re- duce the principal owed, you must still make every monthly payment. In the 1970s I paid an extra $100 a month on my mortgage. It reduced the principal by my prepayment amount. I was al- most a year ahead of my pay- merits, and then the bank let me skip payments for almost a year. Of course they made extra inter- est while I wasn't paying. ey. Who takes deduction? Edith: This past summer my daughter and her boyfriend pur- chased a house. For income tax purposes do they split the inter- est and taxes? Or can they de- termine who would benefit the most and one or the other claims the deduction? - L. Dear L.: Assuming they're both on the title and the mortgage, It was OK then as long as the :total extra that you had paid in  more than what you should have paid all those months. What has changed? - G. Dear 6.: I'm interested in your experience, but I don't think most lenders would go along with it today. I'll bet you were dealing with a local lender. I picture you sitting down with the president of the bank in my hometown, Penn Yah, in his of- rice on Main Street, and working out the figures. These days, most mortgages are packaged in uniform groups, bought and sold many times and owned by large financial institu- tious. Even with a mortgage that was still locally owned, modern computers wouldn't be set up to handle the arrangement you made in the 1970s. Buyer backed out Ms. Lank: I had everything in place for a short sale on my home. The buyer had put down a large cash deposit. At the last minute, the buyer changed his mind, and I was left high and dry. The real estate agent handling the sale said the mortgage com- pany wouldn't consider another bid offer. We had'no choice but to go to foreclosure. I didn't even receive an apology or an explanation from anyone. Do we have any action we can take against the agent? - Via email Answer:. You can certainly con- suit your own real estate lawyer to fred out if you have a valid claim against the buyer. I can't judge from here whether he had any legal justification for walk- hag away. I suspect your only claim against the broker might be if he or she wrongfully released the deposit without the written con- sent of both parties. How long for tax break? Ms. Lank: How long do you have to live in a home before you sell it to avoid paying capital gains? - P.B. Dear gB.: The home seller's exclusion allows you to take up to $250,000 profit - twice that for a married couple filing jointly - with no federal capital gains tax due. It's available if the place has been your main home for at least two of the five years before the sale. If you'd been there for the two years just before the sale, that would be enough. The only other requirement is that you can't use this tax break more than once - on different homes - in any two-year period. Edith Lank will personally respond to any questions sent to her at 240 Hemingway Drive, Rochester, NY 14620. Include a stamped return envelope. Readers may also email her at or visit her website: