Green building fee battle

| Print |  Email
Saturday, December 01, 2007

{safe_alt_text}

PORTLAND At November’s Greenbuild International Conference in Chicago, Portland city commissioner Dan Saltzman unveiled a mandatory carbon fee plan for new construction in Portland. Back at home, builders rolled out the first draft of their own voluntary plan to encourage green building practices. Some say they were surprised about Saltzman’s announcement.

Proposed by Saltzman’s Office of Sustainable Development, the mandatory plan calls for new buildings to exceed Oregon’s energy efficiency requirements by 30% (about equal to LEED gold certification) by 2010 or be fined. The revenue would be used to reward businesses that exceed standards by 45% (LEED platinum certification). Existing homes for sale would require only an energy efficiency assessment which would be disclosed to buyers.

A third aspect of Saltzman’s plan provides for technical assistance, training and outreach by the city in the first two years. Saltzman says the goal is to not have to charge the fee, in which case incentives could come in the form of discounted system development charges. “We see [these standards] as achievable.”

“We’ll do anything possible to stop a mandatory program,” says Jim McCauley with the Homebuilders Association of Metropolitan Portland. McCauley has been working with the Development Review Advisory Committee (DRAC) in the city’s Bureau of Development Services, overseen by city commissioner Randy Leonard, on a plan he says will be just as effective but won’t result in extra costs to the consumer. “And you’ll see a lot more success [with a voluntary program],” McCauley says.

DRAC includes representatives from all city committees that affect builders and outside groups like Earth Advantage. It aims to streamline permitting and reduce costs for developers who get third-party energy efficiency certification, but it does not set a specific standard in its draft plan.

McCauley alleges the OSD mandatory plan is about image building and was kept under wraps until its Chicago announcement. Saltzman says voluntary standards don’t guarantee the needed results. He doesn’t view the DRAC plan as competition and points out the OSD plan is still being refined; he expects the two will be meshed as the public weighs in. Both proposals are being polished this month before formally going to the city council in early 2008.

AMBER NOBE


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

Reader Input: Energy Overload

June 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

We asked readers to weigh in on the fossil fuel-green energy equation.


Read more...

Storyteller in Chief: Natural Prophets

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY SAM BLACKMAN

Storyteller-in-chief with the CEO and co-founder of Elemental Technologies.


Read more...

Reader Input: Road Work

March 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Oregon's roads are crumbling, and revenues from state and local gas taxes are not sufficient to pay for improvements. We asked readers if the private sector should help fund transportation maintenance and repairs. Research partner CFM Strategic Communications conducted the poll of 366 readers in February.

0315 input01 620px

 

Reader comments:

"I feel private enterprises are capable of operating at a higher efficiency than state government."

"This has been used in Oregon since the mid-1800s. It is not a new financing method. This form of financing may help Oregon close its infrastructure deficit by leveraging funds."


Read more...

Photo log: Murray's Pharmacy

The Latest
Friday, July 17, 2015
OBM-Heppner-Kaplan thumbBY JASON KAPLAN

Photographer Jason Kaplan takes a look at Murray's Pharmacy in Heppner.  The family owned business is run by John and Ann Murray, who were featured in our July/August cover story: 10 Innovators in Rural Health Care.


Read more...

Portland’s long-distance bike commuters

The Latest
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Matt KellyresizethumbBY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

Pushing the extreme.


Read more...

5 stats about Oregon fireworks

The Latest
Thursday, June 18, 2015
fireworksthumb001BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Fireworks are a booming industry, even if the pyrotechnics have turned July 4th into a day fire marshals, and many residents, love to hate.


Read more...

Preserving the Legacy

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

A New York floral and gift business takes on the iconic Harry & David brand.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS