Friday, August 6, 2010

Monday 8/9, Tell San Carlos You Want a Strong Green Building Program

If you want the City to have a comprehensive green building program, now is the time to let the City Council know. Despite strong public support for a robust green building program, green building programs in other nearby municipalities, and a Climate Action Plan that says the City is to implement a green building program, the City staff has proposed a "green" building ordinance that would only require increased building energy efficiency, but would not address water conservation, resource conservation, appliance efficiency, indoor air quality, or the other issues that are routinely incorporated into a comprehensive green building ordinance.

We encourage you to speak up at the City Council hearing on the proposed ordinance, which starts at 7 pm on Monday evening. If you are not available to speak in person, you can send your written comments to the City Clerk in advance: You can also send comments directly to individual city council members:,,,,

Not sure what to write? You can cut and paste from the San Carlos Green/Cool Cities comments. The draft ordinance and staff report are available here.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

San Carlos Green Writes to Building Department

If you are looking for text to serve as inspiration (or cut and paste) for your letter to the City regarding their wimpy proposed "green" building ordinance, you can check out the letter sent by 7 members of San Carlos Green.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wimpy Draft Green Building Ordinance

The draft green building ordinance circulated on July 22nd by the San Carlos Building Department to a group of community stakeholders only addresses building energy efficiency, and fails to address other green building features like water conservation, indoor air quality, resource conservation, or appliance efficiency. The 10-page draft ordinance, which is undergoing additional editing and anticipated to be submitted to City Council for adoption at its August 9th meeting, would require that new commercial and residential construction, residential reconstruction, residential additions over 500 square feet, and commercial additions over 500 square feet be modeled to be 15% more energy efficient than the State currently requires.

Although at its June stakeholder meeting, the Building Department proposed requiring LEED Silver certification for new commercial buildings and 50 to 75 GreenPoints for various sizes of residential projects, the draft does not require or provide an incentive for use of the LEED or GreenPoint programs. And although at its July stakeholder meeting, the Building Department announced its plan to adopt a new otherwise-voluntary State green building program – CalGreen Tier 1 – as mandatory, the draft ordinance does not require this either.

The City likes to claim it is green, yet this ordinance would address far fewer green building issues and be far more lenient than the programs that have been adopted in unincorporated San Mateo County, the City of San Mateo, Redwood City, Palo Alto, Los Altos, Hillsborough, and other nearby communities that have adopted green building programs.

If you believe the City should adopt a robust green building program, we encourage you to (1) e-mail your comments to; and (2) plan to speak at the City Council meeting on August 9th, and check in advance for the final draft ordinance, which should be released with the agenda for the 8/9 City Council meeting.