Menlo council delays green building standards

Asks staff to revise tighter ordinance

The first phase of implementing new green building standards in Menlo Park was delayed after the City Council on June 14 unanimously asked staff to revise the proposed ordinance.

The ordinance would require new construction currently subject to California's green building standards to exceed the state's required energy efficiency by 15 percent. Builders would need to test heating and cooling ducts for leaks and install cool roofs that meet certain standards for reflecting sunshine and releasing absorbed heat. The council wants the ordinance to state that alternative methods could be used for cool roofs on residential homes.

The state energy commission must approve the ordinance before it goes into effect, a process expected to take approximately three months once the city adopts it.

The ordinance would fulfill a goal stated in the city's climate action plan to exceed the state's green building standards.

According to the staff report, the City Council will review the climate action plan at its July 19 meeting, which will start at 7 p.m. in council chambers at the Civic Center at 701 Laurel St. The ordinance is also expected to return to council that night.

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Like this comment
Posted by WhoRUpeople
a resident of another community
on Jun 23, 2011 at 9:46 am

Hank, I don't often find myself in total agreement with your posts, but in this case, I absolutely agree with you. I would like to add one more comment with regard to why it is not in Menlo Park's best interests for their Council to pass this ordinance. Like it or not, believe it or not, the fact is that Menlo Park has developed a reputation that causes businesses looking to relocate and developers looking to invest to conclude that doing it in Menlo Park is not worth the brain damage nor the extra cost brought about by such over-restrictive requirements that this ordinance represents. Sure the council sent staff back to put a loop hole in for residential, but the fact is the extra duct testing and the cool roof requirement (in a climate that does not need them) adds extra construction costs that wouldn't need to be incurred if built any where else on the peninsula. Every time MP adds one more of these overly-restrictive, even if well intended, requirements, it is serving to insure a continuation of declining business activity in the town--and thus, declining sales tax revenues and the resulting services that revenue could pay for.

Like this comment
Posted by WAP
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jun 23, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Please revise the article to read "homeowners" will need to pay for the increased regulation. The builder simply implements the solution.
The burden of regulation and increased fees falls on the homeowner and continues to press the cost of construction upwards.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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