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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Good green legislation in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh city council unanimously approved councilman Bill Peduto's proposal for loosening building code restrictions for green certified buildings. Council Peduto has long been the green champion of the city of Pittsburgh government. The approval his green building proposal has been long over due, as Peduto proposed this legislation back in June of 2006.

From the post-gazette's June 26th 2006 article on Peduto's proposal:

Still, Pittsburgh isn't among the scores of cities with legislated incentives for environmentally friendly construction.

"It's almost embarrassing that we haven't had more leadership from local government," said Ms. Flora. Instead foundations, especially the Heinz Endowments, have led the charge.

Yes, it is about time. Just a few years back the city of Pittsburgh was ranked #1 for the number of LEED certified buildings. A number of cities have leapfrogged Pittsburgh as they have provided more incentives for green builders. I believe we are now 4th or 5th and wouldn't be surprised if we slipped even further in the ranks due to the lack of support from city government. I like this proposal because it uses a carrot besides tax abatements to spur development in the city.

From Peduto's Reform Pittsburgh Now website:

Green Building Incentive

An Ordinance sponsored by Peduto that will provide height and/or density incentives to promote green building in Pittsburgh. Although Pittsburgh is presently third in the nation in the number of green buildings, other cities, states and countries have begun to incentivize this policy. By providing over the counter variances of up to 20% for building height and/or density (the number of units), Pittsburgh could help to spur green development without using tax dollars. This Ordinance would not be permitted in residential or local neighborhood commercial districts where height is a great concern. It has been endorsed by the Green Building Alliance of Pittsburgh that was instrumental in the drafting of the legislation.

Note to Bill Peduto - I am available to work on drafting additional green legislation.

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