Planning commission OKs green building ordinance |

Planning commission OKs green building ordinance

Adam Jensen

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – A program that encourages builders to include environmentally friendly features into residential and commercial projects passed South Lake Tahoe Planning Commission scrutiny Thursday afternoon.

The city’s draft green building program now heads to the City Council Nov. 2 for possible approval.

The voluntary program would give builders incentives based on what level of environmentally friendly features they incorporate into their projects.

Builders of new residential construction, additions and remodels would be able to move through the city’s approval process more quickly if they include a series of recommended measures, such as energy-efficient appliances, radon-resistant construction and low-water-consumption landscaping.

If builders take it a step further and obtain LEED, Energy Star or GreenPoint Rated certification, they would be eligible for a quicker approval, priority on the residential allocation waiting list and recognition at a televised City Council meeting and on the city’s website.

Commercial buildings that obtain LEED certification or an Energy Star label would be given similar incentives under the program Those projects could move more quickly through the city’s approval process, be eligible for commercial floor area allocations from the city’s unallocated pool and receive recognition at a televised City Council meeting and on the city website.

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Also on Thursday, the planning commission received an overview of the draft environmental document for the city’s general plan by Patrick Angell, a project manager for Pacific Municipal Consultants, which is developing the document.

The plan will guide all development in the city for the next 20 years.

Significant, unavoidable effects from the plan are increases in vehicle miles traveled, greenhouse gases and traffic noise, Angell said.

Public comment on the environmental document for the general plan will remain open until Nov. 12. The City Council is expected to hold a public hearing on the environmental document at its Nov. 2 meeting.

A final environmental document for the hefty plan is scheduled for release in January or February, Angell said.

The planning commission also recommended the City Council approve an agreement between South Lake Tahoe and El Dorado County that will see 224 acres removed from a redevelopment area centered at the “Y.”

The agreement arose after the county challenged creation of the new redevelopment area, questioning how the city arrived at the required blight determinations.

A recommendation from the planning commission on the agreement was necessary as part of a “lengthy administrative-type process” resulting from the agreement, said Redevelopment Director Eugene Palazzo.

Most of the property removed from the new project area comes from Lake Tahoe Airport, but its removal will not prevent redevelopment dollars from benefiting a green business park discussed for the airport, Palazzo said.

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