A Very Long HDC Meeting
Last Thursday the Historic District Commission held its regular monthly meeting and if anyone was watching to the end, you may have noticed that the clock was nearing midnight. We usually try to finish at 10 pm but we had an ambitious agenda, including:
1. A joint meeting with the Environment Commission, which included three Planning Commissioners. The City has about two dozen commissions and boards but they rarely, if ever, talk with each other, even if they share some common goals or are tackling the same issue. This past year the HDC has requested meetings with other commissions but it’s been slow because finding mutual agreeable times is difficult and sometimes, I regret to say, the Chair of the other commission refused to respond to emails or phone calls to meet (what’s that about??). So far, we’ve met with the Planning Commission and this month with the Environment Commission. These meetings are just an hour so no decisions are made, but they provide introductions and we learn a bit more about each other to discover areas of mutual interest. It’s obvious that the Environmental Commission and the HDC both want to encourage Continue reading →
The Proposed Green Building Regulations: Can We Do More?
On May 21, the City of Rockville provided an update on the revisions to the Building Code, including the new Green Building Regulations, to the Historic District Commission and Recreation and Parks Committee.
I am delighted that this action is finally taking place, indeed, I sense it will be adopted with few objections because so many of these ideas have been already accepted by the community with our growing awareness that the nation’s resources are limited and our current ways of living are no longer sustainable. I especially appreciate that the City is following the standards of LEED from the US Green Building Council, while providing a less costly alternative through “Rockville Certified” and “Rockville Silver” ratings.
However, I urge the Mayor and Council to be more visionary and adopt higher standards than proposed, as follows:
1. Ensure that the City Code is aligned with the latest LEED rating system. I believe the proposed code is based on LEED 2 (released in 2000), however, the US Green Building Council adopted LEED 3 (aka LEED 2009) in April 2009 and all new projects must be certified under LEED 3 after June 27, 2009. Builders and property owners should not be required to meet two different standards and it will only result in opposition to green building practices in Rockville.
2. Require that all new construction, no matter the size, meet the Green Building Code. Continue reading →