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

Biker dreams

The Latest
Friday, May 15, 2015
bike at ater wynn-thumbBY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

The Portland Bureau of Transportation is seeking input from businesses on a $5.5 million initiative to create a network of biking, transit and pedestrian trails within Portland’s central city.


Read more...

Intrepid reporter checks out ZoomCare rebrand

The Latest
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
dentistthumbPHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Like all good journalists, OB editorial staff typically eschew freebies. But health care costs being what they are, digital news editor Jacob Palmer couldn't resist ZoomCare's offer of a three-in-one (cleaning, exam, whitening) dental office visit, guaranteed to take no more than 57 minutes. 


Read more...

Foundations perspective

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Martha Richards, executive director of the James F. & Marion L. Miller Foundation.


Read more...

Photo Diary: Forest Grove Farmers Market

The Latest
Thursday, May 14, 2015
IMG 8469BY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

There are more than 160 farmers markets in Oregon, contributing an estimated $50 million in sales, according to the Oregon Farmers Markets Association. We checked in on the Forest Grove market, which for several years has brought local produce and food vendors to Main Street in the center of town.


Read more...

6 development projects reshaping Bend

The Latest
Thursday, April 09, 2015
bendthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Bend has reclaimed its prerecession title as one of the fastest growing cities in the country.


Read more...

The Good Hacker

May 2015
Friday, April 24, 2015
BY CHRIS HIGGINS

As digital security breaches skyrocket, a cybersleuth everyman takes center stage.


Read more...

Up in the Air

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY ANNIE ELLISON

Portland tech veteran Ben Berry is leaving his post as Portland’s chief technology officer for a full-time role producing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) aimed at first responders and the military. Berry’s AirShip Technologies Group is poised to be on the ground floor of an industry that will supply drones to as many as 100,000 police, fire and emergency agencies nationwide. He reveals the plan for takeoff.


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