Building codes become greener

CITY HALL — The City Council has moved to make Glendale building codes greener than new state requirements call for.

More than a year in the works, the new city rules approved last week will build on extensive statewide green building regulations that went into effect in January that require new developments to recycle construction waste, reduce polluting materials and increase energy and water efficiency.

The state requirements would apply to residential and non-residential developments, including civic, commercial, retail, office and medical buildings.

The City Council voted 3 to 1, with Councilman Frank Quintero absent, to approve 12 additional regulations, which members said would help minimize the impacts of future development.

Glendale has historically deferred to state building requirements.

The regulations mandate all new buildings to be solar energy-ready, and they require at least 20% of residential uncovered parking, walking or patio surfaces to be water-permeable.

“I’m glad to see that Glendale is going to be proactive in terms of sustainability,” Mayor Laura Friedman said. “These measures that we adopted are extremely reasonable. We didn’t feel that they would be overly burdensome on developers.”

But Councilman Ara Najarian, who voted against the regulations, countered that the laws go beyond the city’s authority under state law.

“What we’re saying is, ‘Let’s forget what the California state legislature has done,’” he said when the rules were introduced last month. “Let’s go one step further.”

The new rules also would require that residential developments larger than 5,000 square feet meet a higher standard of sustainability.

“These are buildings that would use a tremendous amount of resources for what’s usually a very small amount of people,” Friedman said. “So just asking them to be more environmentally sustainable makes a lot of sense.”

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