Project Name:  CPA2007-003 Green Building and Sustainability

Staff:  Sean Dougherty

Planning Commission Public Hearing: May 8, 2007

Board of Supervisors Public Hearing:   July 11, 2007

UPDATE: On May 8, 2007 the Planning Commission forwarded Comprehensive Plan language on green building to the Board with a recommendation for adoption. During a public hearing on June 6, 2007, the Board of Supervisors determined that some additional minor revisions were needed to eliminate confusion with the wording as proposed. The Board agreed to individually review the language and submit changes to staff. Staff received those changes and they are reflected in Attachment A, the proposed Comprehensive Plan Amendment. Staff has also removed language referring to the establishment of a green building advisory committee. Two Board members questioned the necessity of such a committee and no other members expressed strong feelings either way. As mentioned in previous staff reports, the chapter of the Comprehensive Plan to which this language is proposed to be added is scheduled for a complete update this Fall. If it is determined at that time that a green building advisory committee is needed, the Comprehensive Plan can reflect that. Attachment B is the track changes version illustrating the aforementioned revisions.

Proposal:  To Amend the Natural Resources and Cultural Assets chapter of the Comprehensive Plan by adding more specific language regarding sustainable design and green building in support of the Thomas Jefferson Sustainability Accords, hereafter, the Accords, as adopted in 1998. To illustrate how the proposed language relates to the Natural Resources and Cultural Assets Chapter of the Comprehensive Plan, that chapter’s introduction is included verbatim, with the new language found in italics under the heading, “Sustainable Design in Buildings and Planning” directly after the Sustainability Accords.

Background: In September of 2006, the Board of Supervisors reviewed staff’s presentation on the County’s successes with sustainability and green building and requested that staff explore strategies to further the County’s commitment to sustainable practices. In December 2006, the Planning Commission resolved to amend the Comprehensive Plan in support of green building and sustainability. A February update to the Board of Supervisors on green building generated a discussion indicating support for stronger commitments to green building in County facilities so long as financial impacts, short and long-term, are understood and kept in check. On March 20, the Planning Commission held a work session and reviewed draft green building language. Staff has prepared the proposed language for the public hearing by making minor changes and additions based on the Commission’s work session feedback and direction. Statements that have been added or amended since the work session are indicated with an asterisk. The public hearing will provide an opportunity to question or express support for any of these statements. As the Comprehensive Plan is a guide, staff believes this language will work to further establish the County’s commitment to green building and identify priorities in the context of long-range planning and community development.

RECOMMENDATION: Staff recommends adopting the language into the Comprehensive Plan.


Attachment A - Proposed Green Building and Sustainability Comprehensive Plan Language

Attachment B - Track Changes Version of Proposed Green Building and Sustainability Comprehensive Plan Language

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