Home Back Issues December 2007 Green building fee battle

Green building fee battle

| Print |  Email
Archives - December 2007
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

Shuffling the Deck

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JON BELL

Oregon tribes still bet on casinos.


Read more...

Kill the Meeting

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Meetings get a bad rap. A few local companies make them count.


Read more...

College Conundrum

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

University and college tuition fees have been rising for more than a decade, while state funds for higher education have steadily declined.


Read more...

Gone Girl

News
Monday, September 29, 2014
roundup-logo-thumb-14BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Wehby disappears, Kitzhaber fails to disclose and Seattle gets bike share before Portland.


Read more...

True Blood

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE

Antibiotics really aren’t magic bullets.


Read more...

What I'm Reading

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014

Nick Herinckx, CEO of Obility, and Jake Weatherly, CEO of SheerID, share what they've been reading.


Read more...

October surprise

News
Sunday, October 12, 2014
roundup-logo-thumb-14BY LINDA BAKER

Cylvia Hayes, tabloid vs. watchdog journalism and the looming threat of a Cascadia earthquake.


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