Last November 7, the Denver Green Roof Initiative was approved by an 8.6% margin meaning the city will have the most stringent requirements for rooftop gardens in the whole nation. The initiative went into effect on January 1 of this year and cannot be amended until May when a two-thirds majority vote by City Council could open the way for changes. So how are property managers Denver affected by the ordinance?
Urban Heat Islands
The fact is there has been much confusion regarding the details of the new requirements which apply to buildings with more than 25,000 square feet of floor area. The initiative calls for such buildings to have gardens or solar panels covering at least 20% of the roof to prevent so called heat islands which raise the city’s temperature by several degrees in the summer. Nationwide, Denver apparently falls behind only Las Vegas and Albuquerque for the hottest urban heat islands.
Denver Planning Board Hearings
Last Wednesday, the Denver Planning Board held a hearing to listen to concerns and comments from developers, architects and the property managers Denver employs as well as residents and environmentalists. More than 2 dozen statements were offered prior to the meeting to allow a discussion regarding the details of the initiative and its impact on development in the city.
Call For Change
There was a call for changes to the ordinance to reduce financial hardships and planning difficulties placed upon property owners, managers and developers who need to comply with the proposed regulations. Others were concerned about the initiative’s technical details and the process that allows for exceptions to be made. The Planning Board did not hold any votes during the meeting and said it would need to review the submissions before deciding whether any amendments would be necessary.
Further Public Input
The next Planning Board meeting will take place on February 7 at 9am. It has been suggested that anyone who wants to receive updates regarding further opportunities for public input should sign up to the Green Roofs Review Stakeholders Process email newsletter and read past communications.