San Jose, California is considering a plan to require all new private developments to follow strict environmental standards. Builders and developers are opposed and claim the move will be bad for the city as it tries to encourage business growth.
"City council members who joined in unanimously endorsing Mayor Chuck Reed's aggressive new environmental goals a week ago support the idea of extending the 'green building' policy to private development, but they disagree over whether to make it a requirement. Business leaders fear a costly and cumbersome government mandate and say it could chill investment and job growth."
"But Reed, who has cast himself as the "green mayor," believes some environmental building standards are unavoidable - and not necessarily in conflict with his goal of making San Jose more business-friendly."
"The council's rules committee, which Reed chairs, voted Wednesday to have the city administration study the concept and bring recommendations to the council in January. Reed noted that with the state moving aggressively to tackle global warming, future development approvals are likely to involve requirements to reduce pollution and energy use anyway."
"San Jose adopted a "green building" policy for its own construction projects in 2001 and toughened it in March. The policy now requires all municipal buildings over 10,000 square feet to achieve at least 'silver' certification under the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, program."