A change in the land development code is encouraging commercial developers to go green.
The Metro Council on Thursday approved the change in code that allows developers of commercial property to bypass certain council permissions if their development promotes a green initiative spelled out in the new land development code.
“This is just something to show that we want to recognize those building practices as desirable and provide incentives for them,” said Dawn Warrick, the assistant director for City Planning and Design. Warrick helped Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh draft the ordinance.
Commercial developers who meet certain environmental criteria will be granted permission to build an additional level or fewer parking spaces on what would otherwise be subject to further review and processes by city code.
“For instance you might want an additional height, another level or another story on your development that’s outside what would be normally allowed in the code,” said Ward-Pugh.
The new code will also save developers time that would be spent in front of Metro Council, which could be a fairly legislative process, said Warrick.
“This is a way they can employ some green development practices and maybe go ahead and get their heights without going through a change in zoning which is a fairly intense legislative process.”
Ward-Pugh also wants to make it possible for the city to reimburse certain fees for completion of these green projects. She and Councilman Brent Ackerson have each pledged $1,000 towards this fund.