A new county green building ordinance set for adoption by the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday would set up rules for all county government building construction and remodels.
The ordinance would provide new incentives for private development, and includes new on-site energy requirements for all larger county government and private commercial buildings.
While projections indicate the additional cost will be largely offset by reduced utility and maintenance costs over the life of the buildings, there are no plans for a cost-benefit analysis designed to monitor that supposition.
The proposed ordinance would require all new county buildings to follow state green building standards adopted in 2010, updates incentives for private development to comply with state or equivalent standards, and requires all public and commercial buildings larger than 25,000 square feet to provide on-site renewable energy generation for at least 15 percent of projected energy demand.
A staff report said the new ordinance is designed to help the county comply with its general plan, meet the terms of U.S. Department of Energy grants it has already accepted, and help with state and local efforts to "slow the effects of climate change" while improving energy efficiency and reducing potable water demand, among other benefits.
The report outlines the projected costs and benefits of the proposed ordinance including:
· An estimated reduction in county building permit fees of about $87,500 per year because of the fee rebate incentive.
· An unknown increase in construction costs for new and remodeled county buildings, balanced by "long-term savings" from reduced utility and maintenance costs that remain unquantified.
· An increase in project costs because of the on-site renewable cost generation requirement for county buildings, offset by a projected recovery of about 75 percent of that cost through reduced utility expenses.
The report does not address the potential costs and benefits of either the private building incentives or the commercial building on-site renewable energy requirements.
The county staff worked with the permit streamlining task force, the alternative energy and environment committee, and other interest groups on drafting the ordinance, and held two public hearings last summer, the report said.
Also Tuesday, the supervisors are set to consider:
· Appeal of a permit for a Carmel-area test well intended to be converted to a domestic production well for new development.
· A contribution of $58,000 more in county money to pay for the Aromas Water District's Prop. 218 vote on creating an assessment district for the proposed Oakridge/Via Del Sol neighborhood water pipeline project.
Supervisor Lou Calcagno said the county will be repaid the entire $270,000 it has invested in the project if the vote succeeds, as expected. Calcagno said district officials have altered the assessment district proposal to exclude most of those who vehemently protested against being forced to pay for a project they argued they don't need.
· Approval of $974,428 for the Natividad Medical Foundation to pay for fundraising, public outreach and other efforts on behalf of the county-owned hospital.
The foundation expects to raise about $2.75 million this year, and reports having raised about $12.65 million since 2007 in private donations and government grants. If this year's request is approved, the county will have dedicated $5.11 million to the foundation over the past six years.
Jim Johnson can be reached at 753-6753 or email@example.com.