Vol. 15 Issue No. 5 | February 4 – February 10, 2009

Carefree working on green building policies and procedures

By Curtis Riggs | February 4, 2009

Incentives will encourage use

CAREFREE – Planning and zoning officials hope to have green building incentives in place for builders and architects by 2011.

The Carefree Planning and Zoning Commission held its second meeting about the implementation of green building policies on Jan. 26. P&Z Commissioners asked for more public involvement early in the implementation of the new rules, which will provide incentives for energy efficiency such as solar power and the use of recycled “gray” water.

“The action plan has been well received by the Commission,” said Carefree Assistant Planner Brian Craig, about last month’s meeting and a prior one in August 2008.
Craig, who is heading up the town effort, admits the timeline for creating green building rules and including them in the Carefree Zoning Code by 2011 is “conservative.”

“We are developing the program slowly so we can focus more attention on it,” he said. “We will keep the program current and update it when it is necessary.”

Town officials want to create a “voluntary” green building program, but intend to ensure participation in it with the accompanying incentives.

Some of the new policies will deal with home remodels and additions.

The intention is to have the new policies in place for future town buildings. Carefree purchased a one-acre downtown property toward the end of 2008 as a new home for the Carefree Municipal Court and possibly a future town hall.

Evaluating the program as it matures is an underlying theme. The zoning officials intend to keep a close eye on the new policies after they are approved.

Since August town staff has been summarizing the most constructive and relevant green building data to help the program get off the ground in Carefree.

“The research was two-fold, first to understand the science and mechanics behind the movement of green building, and second to evaluate the implementation by municipalities in the form of incentives, policies and codes,” Craig said.

He hopes to have clearly defined green building policies ready to be presented to the Carefree Town Council by the fall of 2010 at the latest.