Urban Fold

Building Green? Move To The Front Of The Permit Line

A San Mateo County supervisor is proposing that the county reward developers of environmentally-friendly projects with faster permit approvals.

"A new program proposed by a San Mateo County supervisor could speed up permitting processes in unincorporated areas for builders who go "green."

Under the proposal, a builder who chooses to employ environmentally friendly construction in San Mateo County's unincorporated areas would have his application for a new building or major addition processed by the county's planning department twice as fast.

It takes about six to seven weeks to complete an application for a residential or commercial building permit. A builder who goes green would have his permit processed in three weeks.

"What we're looking to do here is to provide incentives so more individuals will build green," said San Mateo County Supervisor Mark Church, who has asked the planning department to look at developing the program. "The public sector already has taken the lead in developing green buildings, so now is the time to provide incentives to encourage the private sector to do the same."

Church has proposed that the planning department create a checklist of requirements that would qualify a building to be green. It could include elements such as design, construction, operation of buildings employing materials and methods that promote natural resource conservation, energy efficiency and good indoor air quality."

Full Story: 'Green' builders may get fast track

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