DALY CITY — Beginning Jan. 1, those wishing to build new houses here will have to include some environmentally conscious elements.

The City Council has approved the Green Building Ordinance, which will require developers of new residential structures to show that their project will have eco-friendly measures before they'll be granted a construction permit.

"Daly City is aware like every other city that we are being confronted with trying to be more environmentally responsible," City Manager Patricia Martel said. "We believe that if we want residents to participate in green initiatives, the city has to implement its own initiative."

The ordinance will help cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, city leaders said, and homeowners will see savings in their utility bills.

The ordinance is modeled after a similar one approved last year by San Mateo County supervisors, said Peter Pirnejad, Daly City's assistant director of economic and community development.

Dwellings will need to meet, among other conditions, the minimum standards set by the nonprofit Build It Green or the U.S. Green Building Council, Pirnejad said.

The projects, for instance, will have to incorporate any number of measures that range from laying out water-efficient landscaping to installing solar panels.

The ordinance is just part of the city's overall effort to help the environment while doing government business, Martel said.


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That effort includes work on a climate action plan, which gives a comprehensive road map for the city to meet its emissions-reductions targets in such areas as public buildings, cars and water use.

That plan is expected to be finished in the spring, Martel said.

Several other Peninsula communities have already passed green-building regulations, including Redwood City, San Mateo and Palo Alto.

It's good that local cities are enacting those regulations now because a state law requires municipalities to lower greenhouse emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, said Kari Binley, executive director for Sustainable San Mateo County.

The Home Builders Association of Northern California has declared support for mandatory green-construction standards in all Bay Area cities and counties.

Requiring those standards not only benefits the environment but is good for business, consumers and "our growing clean tech economy," the nonprofit association said.

Reach Neil Gonzales at 650-348-4338.