§ 200 Objectives of board.
The primary objective of the Board of Landscape Architecture, to which all other objectives and purposes are secondary, is to protect the general public (specifically those persons who are direct recipients of services regulated by this chapter) from unsafe practices, and from occupational practices which tend to reduce competition or fix the price of services rendered. The secondary objectives of the Board are to maintain minimum standards of practitioner competency, and to maintain certain standards in the delivery of services to the public. In meeting its objectives, the Board shall develop standards assuring professional competence, shall monitor complaints brought against practitioners regulated by the Board, shall adjudicate at formal complaints hearings, shall promulgate rules and regulations, and shall impose sanctions where necessary against practitioners.
§ 201 Definitions.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meaning ascribed to them except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
(1) "Board" shall mean the Delaware State Board of Landscape Architecture.
(2) "Landscape architect" shall mean a person who, on the basis of demonstrated knowledge acquired by professional education or practical experience, or both, has been granted and holds a current certificate entitling the person to use the designation "landscape architect" and practices landscape architecture in this State under the authority of this chapter.
(3)a. "Landscape architecture" shall mean any service or creative work the adequate performance of which requires landscape architectural education, training and experience. It shall mean the performance of professional services such as consultation, investigation, research, planning, design, preparation of drawings, specifications and contract documents, and responsible supervision or construction management in connection with the development of land areas where, and to the extent that the dominant purpose of such services is: The preservation, enhancement or determination of proper land uses, natural land features, wetlands and environmentally sensitive plant and animal communities, naturalistic and aesthetic values; the determination of settings, circulation systems, and hard scaping structures, grounds and approaches for buildings and structures or other improvements; the determination of environmental problems of land relating to erosion, flooding, blight and other hazards; the shaping and contouring of land and water forms; the setting of grades, determination of drainage and providing for storm drainage systems where such systems do not require structural design of system components and determination of landscape irrigation.
b. "Landscape architecture" shall include the design of such tangible objects and features as are necessary to the purpose outlined herein but shall not include the design of buildings, structures and utilities with separate and self-contained purposes such as are ordinarily included in the practice of architecture or engineering.
(4) "Substantially related" means the nature of criminal conduct, for which the person was convicted, has a direct bearing on the fitness or ability to perform 1 or more of the duties or responsibilities necessarily related to landscape architecture.
§ 202 License required.
No person shall hold oneself out to the public as being a licensed landscape architect, or use in connection with one's name or otherwise assume, use or advertise any title or description intending to convey the impression that one is a licensed landscape architect, unless such person has been licensed under this chapter.
§ 203 Board of Landscape Architecture — Appointment; composition; qualifications; term of office; suspension or removal; compensation.
(a) The Board of Landscape Architecture shall consist of 5 members appointed by the Governor: 3 professional members who shall be licensed landscape architects; and 2 public members. To serve on the Board, a public member shall not be nor ever have been a landscape architect, nor a member of the immediate family of a landscape architect; shall not have been employed by a landscape architect; shall not have had a material financial interest in the providing of goods and services to landscape architect; and shall not have been engaged in an activity directly related to landscape architecture. Such public member shall be accessible to inquiries, comments and suggestions from the general public.
(b) Each member shall serve for a term of 3 years, and may successively serve 1 additional term; provided however, that where a member was initially appointed to fill a vacancy, such member may successively serve for only 1 additional full term. Any person appointed to fill a vacancy on the Board shall hold office for the remainder of the unexpired term of the former member. Each term of office shall expire on the date specified in the appointment, however, the Board member shall remain eligible to participate in Board proceedings unless and until replaced by the Governor.
(c) A person who has never served on the Board may be appointed to the Board 2 consecutive times, but no such person shall thereafter be eligible for 2 consecutive appointments. No person who has been twice appointed to the Board, or who has served on the Board for 6 years within any 9-year period, shall again be appointed to the Board until an interim period of at least 1 term has expired since such person last served.
(d) Any act or vote by a person appointed in violation of subsection (c) of this section shall be invalid. An amendment or revision of this chapter is not sufficient cause for any appointment or attempted appointment in violation of subsection (c) of this section, unless such amendment or revision amends this section to permit such an appointment.
(e) A member of the Board shall be suspended or removed by the Governor for misfeasance, nonfeasance or malfeasance. A member subject to disciplinary proceedings shall be disqualified from Board business until the charge is adjudicated or the matter is otherwise concluded. A Board member may appeal any suspension or removal to the Superior Court.
(f) No member of the Board of Landscape Architecture, while serving on the Board, shall be a president, chairperson or other official of a professional association of landscape architects.
(g) The provisions set forth for "employees" in Chapter 58 of Title 29 shall apply to all members of the Board, and to all agents appointed by or otherwise employed by the Board.
(h) Each Board member shall be reimbursed for all expenses involved in each meeting, including travel; and in addition shall receive not more than $50 for each meeting attended, but not more than $500 in any calendar year. After 10 meetings have been attended, the member shall not be compensated for any subsequent meetings attended in that year.
§ 204 Board of Landscape Architecture — Officers; meetings; quorum.
(a) In January of each year the members shall elect, from among their Board, a President, a Secretary and a Treasurer. Each officer shall serve for 1 year, and shall not successively serve for more than 2 consecutive terms.
(b) The Board shall hold regularly scheduled business meetings at least once in each quarter of a calendar year, and at such other times as the President deems necessary; or at the request of a majority of Board members. Special or emergency meetings may be held without notice provided a quorum is present.
(c) A majority of members shall constitute a quorum, and no action shall be taken without the affirmative vote of at least 3 members. Any member who fails to attend 3 consecutive meetings, or who fails to attend at least 1/2 of all regular business meetings during any calendar year, shall automatically upon such occurrence be deemed to have resigned from office and a replacement shall be appointed.
(d) Minutes of all meetings shall be recorded, and copies shall be maintained by the Division of Professional Regulation. At any hearing where evidence is presented, such hearing shall be recorded and transcribed by the Division.
§ 205 Powers and duties.
(a) The Board shall have authority to:
(1) Formulate rules and regulations relating to official seals and other matters, with appropriate notice to those affected, where such notice can reasonably be given. Each rule or regulation shall implement or clarify a specific section of this chapter;
(2) Designate the application form to be used by all applicants for licensure, subject to the approval of the Director of the Division of Professional Regulation, and to process all applications;
(3) Designate a written national examination, prepared by either the national professional association or by a recognized legitimate national testing service. The examination shall be prepared for testing on a national basis, and not specifically prepared at the request of the Board for its individual use. The national examination shall be taken by persons applying for licensure, except applicants who qualify for licensure by reciprocity;
(4) Provide for the administration of all examinations, including notice and information to applicants;
(5) Under such conditions as are permitted by the national testing service, administer the uniform national examination, or another nationally-administered examination for those applicants who have been unable to take it at the school or college of landscape architecture, or elsewhere;
(6) Grant licenses to all persons who meet the qualifications for licensure;
(7) Refer complaints received from practitioners and from the public, concerning practitioners or practices of the profession, to the Division of Professional Regulation for investigation pursuant to § 8735 of Title 29;
(8) If an investigation under § 8735 of Title 29 indicates that a disciplinary hearing is appropriate, to conduct such hearing in accordance with this chapter; with the provisions of § 8735(h) of Title 29; and with the applicable provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act [Chapter of 101 of Title 29];
(9) Where it has been determined after a disciplinary hearing that penalties or sanctions should be imposed, to designate and impose the appropriate penalties or sanctions after time for appeal has lapsed;
(10) Bring proceedings in the courts for the enforcement of this chapter;
(11) Maintain complete records relating to meetings, applications, examinations, rosters, changes in the Board's rules and regulations, complaints, hearings and other matters within the Board's jurisdiction, except for those matters or subjects where the records are maintained by the Division of Professional Regulation;
(12) Formulate rules and regulations relating to continuing education requirements for practitioners; and
(13) Require, by subpoena, the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of papers, records and other documentary evidence.
(b) The authority, powers and duties of the Board set forth in this section shall not be construed to include the computation or collection of fees and charges; formulation or administration of examinations; reimbursement of expenses; rules and regulations concerning public meetings; investigation of complaints; or any other powers or duties reserved to the Division of Professional Regulation in accordance with § 8735 of Title 29.
(c) The Board of Landscape Architecture shall promulgate regulations specifically identifying those crimes which are substantially related to the practice of landscape architecture.
§ 206 Qualifications of applicant; report to Attorney General; judicial review.
(a) An applicant who is applying for examination and licensure under this chapter shall have 1 of the following qualifications:
(1) The applicant shall have been graduated from a school or college of landscape architecture approved or accredited by the National Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards, the American Society of Landscape Architects Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board, or other legitimate national association of landscape architects; or
(2) The applicant shall have 2 years of courses in landscape architecture acceptable to the Board taken from a school or college of landscape architecture approved or accredited by the National Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards, the American Society of Landscape Architects Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board, or other legitimate national association of landscape architects; and have acquired 4 years of professional experience in the practice of landscape architecture acceptable to the Board under the direct supervision of a licensed landscape architect.
(3) An applicant shall not have been convicted of a crime that is substantially related to the practice of landscape architecture; however, after a hearing or review of documentation demonstrating that the applicant meets the specified criteria for a waiver, the Board, by an affirmative vote of a majority of the quorum, may waive this paragraph (a)(3), if it finds all of the following:
a. For waiver of a felony conviction, more than 5 years have elapsed since the date of the conviction. At the time of the application the applicant may not be incarcerated, on work release, on probation, on parole or serving any part of a suspended sentence and must be in substantial compliance with all court orders pertaining to fines, restitution and community service.
b. For waiver of a misdemeanor conviction or violation, at the time of the application the applicant may not be incarcerated, on work release, on probation, on parole or serving any part of a suspended sentence and must be in substantial compliance with all court orders pertaining to fines, restitution and community service.
c. The applicant is capable of practicing landscape architecture in a competent and professional manner.
d. The granting of the waiver will not endanger the public health, safety or welfare.
(4) Each applicant shall provide such information as may be required on an application form designed and furnished by the Board. No application form shall require a picture of the applicant; require information relating to citizenship, place of birth, length of state residency; nor require personal references.
(b) Where the Board has found to its satisfaction that an application has been intentionally fraudulent, or that false information has been intentionally supplied, it shall report its findings to the Attorney General for further action.
(c) Where the application of a person has been refused or rejected and such applicant feels that the Board has acted without justification; has imposed higher or different standards for that person than for other applicants or licensees; or has in some other manner contributed to or caused the failure of such application, the applicant may appeal to the Superior Court.
60 Del. Laws, c. 190, § 1; 63 Del. Laws, c. 461, § 6; 67 Del. Laws, c. 385, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 74 Del. Laws, c. 262, § 7; 74 Del. Laws, c. 336, §§ 2-4; 75 Del. Laws, c. 436, § 2; 77 Del. Laws, c. 199, § 2; 78 Del. Laws, c. 44, §§ 3, 4.;
§ 207 Examination.
(a) The Board shall, in the same month of each year, or at such times as are determined by the testing service, administer the uniform national examination, prepared and graded by the National Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards or such portions of the uniform national examination as it deems necessary. Such written examination shall be obtained from, and corrected by, the National Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards, or similar national testing service. Where an applicant has failed to pass the examination, but has successfully completed or passed certain portions or sections which the applicant previously failed, the applicant shall be permitted to retake only those certain portions or sections of the examination the applicant has failed, if the testing service permits such partial examination. In the event the applicant fails the second time to successfully complete or pass the examination, the Board may require that such applicant again take the complete examination.
(b) In the event an applicant has already taken and passed the uniform national examination, the certificate from the National Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards acknowledging same shall be accepted, and no further state examination shall be necessary.
§ 208 Reciprocity.
Where the applicant is already licensed in another state, the Board shall accept a certificate or other evidence of the examination score issued by the National Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards that the applicant has successfully completed or passed the uniform national examination, or the certificate or other evidence of successful completion of a similar national testing service for its national examination for landscape architects, in lieu of all other requirements for licensure provided for in this chapter. Upon receipt of an application for reciprocity, the Board shall contact each board which has previously licensed the applicant, to determine whether or not there are disciplinary proceedings or unresolved complaints pending against the applicant. In the event there is a disciplinary proceeding or unresolved complaint pending, the applicant shall not be licensed until the proceeding or complaint has been resolved. An application for licensure by reciprocity shall be accompanied by full payment of the reciprocity fee.
§ 209 [Repealed.]
§ 210 Issuance of license; renewal; inactive status; reinstatement.
(a) Each person who has passed the written examination and has acquired at least 2 years of professional experience in the practice of landscape architecture acceptable to the Board under the direct supervision of a licensed landscape architect, who has been admitted to practice in this State by reciprocity or who has otherwise qualified for a license shall, prior to practicing in this State, file for and obtain an occupational license from the Division of Revenue in accordance with Chapter 23 of Title 30. The Board shall forthwith issue a license to each person who has qualified for same under this chapter.
(b) Each license shall be renewed biennially, in such manner as is determined by the Division of Professional Regulation. The Board shall in its rules and regulations, determine the period of time within which a practitioner may still renew a license, notwithstanding the fact that such practitioner has failed to renew on or before the renewal date; provided, however, that such period shall not exceed l year. The Board shall charge for each month or quarter during such "late renewal period" a late fee which, at the end of such "late period" will be twice the sum of the unpaid renewal fee. At the expiration of the period designated by the Board, the license shall be deemed to be lapsed and not renewable unless the former licensee reapplies under the same conditions which govern reciprocity; provided, however, that the former licensee shall also pay a reinstatement fee in an amount which is 3 times the amount of the reciprocity fee.
(c) Any licensee may, upon a written request, be placed in an inactive status. The renewal fee of such person shall be prorated in accordance with the amount of time such person was inactive. Such person may reenter practice upon notification to the Board of the intent to do so.
(d) A former licensee who has been penalized for the violation of a provision of this chapter, or whose license has been suspended or revoked, and who subsequently is permitted to apply for reinstatement shall apply for a new license, successfully complete the uniform national examination and shall pay all appropriate fees therefor.
§ 211 Complaints.
All filings and investigations of complaints by practitioners or members of the public which concern any aspect of the practice of landscape architecture shall be presented and processed pursuant to § 8735(h) of Title 29.
§ 212 Practice by corporations and partnerships.
(a) The privilege of engaging in the practice of landscape architecture is personal, based upon the qualifications of the individual evidenced by registration and is not transferable. All final drawings, specifications, plans, reports or other papers or documents involving the practice of landscape architecture, as defined within this chapter, when issued or filed for public record, shall be dated and bear the signature and seal of the landscape architect or landscape architects who prepared or approved same.
(b) Nothing in subsection (a) of this section shall be construed as preventing the formation of business entities, provided that such entities are authorized under Delaware law or the laws of another state, as a vehicle for the practice of or offer to practice landscape architecture for others by individual landscape architects licensed under this chapter through a business entity, or the offering or rendering of landscape architectural services by a business entity through landscape architects licensed under this chapter, provided that:
(1) One or more of the officers, partners, members, managers, or principals is designated as being responsible for any services in the practice of landscape architecture on behalf of their business entity and is a licensed landscape architect under this chapter;
(2) All personnel of said business entity, who act in its behalf as landscape architects in this State or for clients located in this State are licensed under this chapter; and
(3) Said business entity has been issued a certificate of authorization by the Board as herein provided.
(c) A business entity desiring a certificate of authorization shall file with the Board an application, on forms provided by the Board, listing relevant information, including the names and addresses of officers, partners, members, managers or principals of the business entity and also of the individual or individuals duly licensed to practice landscape architecture in this State who shall be in responsible charge of the practice of landscape architecture in compliance with paragraph (b)(1) of this section and any other information required by the Board, accompanied by the appropriate fee. A certificate of authorization shall be renewed biennially in such manner as is determined by the Division, and upon payment of the appropriate fee and submission of a renewal form provided by the Division. In the event there should be a change in the information provided on the application for a certificate of authorization, notification of such change shall be provided to the Board in writing within 30 days of the effective date of such change.
(d) No such business entity shall be relieved of responsibility for the conduct or acts of its agents, employees, officers, partners, members or principals by reason of its compliance with this section, nor shall any individual be relieved of responsibility for landscape architectural services performed by reason of employment or relationship with such business entity. All business entities and landscape architects practicing through such entities shall be bound by professional standards no less stringent than those stated in § 608 of Title 8.
(e) The Board may revoke, suspend or cancel a certificate of authorization, if after a hearing, the Board determines that any officer, partner, member, manager, principal, or employee has violated any lawful provision of this chapter, or any lawful regulation established thereunder.
§ 213 Grounds for discipline; procedure.
(a) Practitioners regulated under this chapter shall be subject to those disciplinary actions set forth in § 214 of this title if, after a hearing, the Board finds:
(1) That the practitioner has employed or knowingly cooperated in fraud or material deception in order to be licensed, or be otherwise authorized to practice landscape architecture;
(2) Illegal, incompetent or negligent conduct in the practice of landscape architecture;
(3) Excessive use or abuse of drugs (including alcohol, narcotics or chemicals);
(4) That the practitioner has been convicted of a crime that is substantially related to the practice of landscape architecture;
(5) That the practitioner, as a landscape architect or otherwise in the practice of the profession, knowingly engaged in an act of consumer fraud or deception, engaged in the restraint of competition or participated in price-fixing activities;
(6) That the practitioner has violated a lawful provision of this chapter, or any lawful regulation established thereunder.
(b) A practitioner shall be subject to nondisciplinary remedial action if, after a hearing, the Board finds that there is a danger to the health, safety and welfare of the public due to:
(1) Physical illness or loss of motor skill, including but not limited to deterioration through the aging process;
(2) Temporary emotional disorder or mental illness; or
(3) Permanent emotional disorder or mental illness.
(c) If a practitioner's physical or mental capacity to practice safely is at issue in a nondisciplinary remedial proceeding, the Board may order the practitioner to submit to a reasonable physical or mental examination. Failure to comply with a lawful order to submit to a physical or mental examination shall render a practitioner liable to temporary suspension or revocation of license in accordance with § 214 of this title.
(d) Where a practitioner fails to comply with the Board's request that the practitioner submit to an examination or attending a hearing, the Board may petition the Superior Court to order such examination or attendance, and the said Court or any judge assigned thereto shall have jurisdiction to issue such order.
(e) Subject to subchapter IV of Chapter 101 of Title 29, no license shall be restricted, suspended or revoked by the Board; and no practitioner's right to practice shall be limited by the Board, until such practitioner has been given notice, and an opportunity to be heard in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act [29 Del. C. § 10101 et seq.].
§ 214 Disciplinary sanctions.
(a) The Board may impose any of the following sanctions, singly or in combination, when it finds that one of the conditions or violations set forth in § 213 of this title applies to a practitioner regulated by this chapter:
(1) Issue a letter of reprimand;
(2) Censure a practitioner;
(3) Place a practitioner on probationary status, and require the practitioner to:
a. Report regularly to the Board upon the matters which are the basis of the probation;
b. Limit all practice and professional activities to those areas prescribed by the Board; and/or
c. Continue or renew the practitioner's professional education until the required degree of skill has been attained in those areas which are the basis of the probation;
(4) Suspend any practitioner's license;
(5) Revoke any practitioner's license.
(b) The Board may withdraw or reduce conditions of probation when it finds that the deficiencies which required such action have been remedied.
(c) In the event of a formal or informal complaint concerning the activity of a licensee that presents a clear and immediate danger to the public health, safety or welfare, the Board may temporarily suspend the person's license, pending a hearing, upon the written order of the Secretary of State or the Secretary's designee, with the concurrence of the Board chair or the Board chair's designee. An order temporarily suspending a license may not be issued unless the person or the person's attorney received at least 24 hours' written or oral notice before the temporary suspension so that the person or the person's attorney may file a written response to the proposed suspension. The decision as to whether to issue the temporary order of suspension will be decided on the written submissions. An order of temporary suspension pending a hearing may remain in effect for no longer than 60 days from the date of the issuance of the order unless the temporarily suspended person requests a continuance of the hearing date. If the temporarily suspended person requests a continuance, the order of temporary suspension remains in effect until the hearing is convened and a decision is rendered by the Board. A person whose license has been temporarily suspended pursuant to this section may request an expedited hearing. The Board shall schedule the hearing on an expedited basis, provided that the Board receives the request within 5 calendar days from the date on which the person received notification of the decision to temporarily suspend the person's license.
(d) Where a license has been suspended due to a disability of the licensee, the Board may reinstate such license if, after a hearing, the Board is satisfied that the licensee is able to practice with reasonable skill and safety.
(e) As a condition to reinstatement of a suspended license, or removal from probationary status, the Board may impose such disciplinary or corrective measures as are authorized under this chapter.
§ 215 Hearing procedures.
(a) Upon the receipt of a complaint, the Board shall determine what action, if any, it shall take. If the Board decides not to take any further action, and the complainant is known to the Board, the Board shall forward by letter to the complainant its reasons for not taking further action. Where the Board has determined to take further action, the matter shall be heard by the Board within 3 months from the date on which the complaint was received. The Board shall fix the time and place for a full hearing of the matter, and shall cause a copy of the complaint, together with a notice of the time and place fixed for the hearing, to be personally delivered or served upon the practitioner at least 30 days before the date fixed for the hearing. In cases where the practitioner cannot be located or where personal service cannot be effected, substitute service shall be effected in the same manner as with civil litigation.
(b) All hearings shall be informal without use of the rules of evidence. If the Board finds, by a majority vote of all members, that the complaint has merit, the Board shall take such action permitted under this chapter as it deems necessary. The Board's decision shall be in writing and shall include its reasons for such decision. A copy of the decision shall be mailed immediately to the practitioner. The Board's decision shall become effective on the thirtieth day after the date it is mailed or served on the practitioner, unless there is an appeal by the practitioner to the Superior Court within that time.
§ 216 Practicing without a license; penalties.
(a) Where the Board has determined that a person is practicing landscape architecture within the State without having lawfully obtained a license therefor, or that a person previously licensed is unlawfully practicing although the person's license has been suspended or revoked, the Board shall formally warn such person. If the offense continues, the Board shall make a formal complaint to the Attorney General. The complaint shall include all evidence known to, or in the possession of, the Board.
(b) Where the Board has placed a practitioner on probationary status under certain restrictions or conditions, and the Board has determined that such restrictions or conditions are being or have been violated by the practitioner, it may, after a hearing on the matter, suspend or revoke the practitioner's license.
(c) Where a person not currently licensed as a landscape architect is convicted of unlawfully practicing landscape architecture in violation of this chapter such offender shall, upon the first offense, be fined $50, and shall pay all costs; provided, however, that where it is alleged that such violation has resulted in injury to any person, the offender shall be charged and tried under the applicable provisions of Title 11.
(d) Where a person previously convicted of unlawfully practicing landscape architecture is convicted a second or subsequent time of such offense, the fine assessed against such person shall be increased by $250 for each subsequent offense thereafter.
§§ 217 -219. [Repealed.]