Tuesday Sep 23 2008
Team helps create an earth-friendly future
By: Gina Garbolino Roseville Mayor pro-tem
The cities of Roseville, Lincoln and Rocklin are collaborating to support sustainability in their communities. The South Placer Green Team brings together chief building officials and economic development officials in a tri-city effort to streamline renewable energy permitting, train staff and be a resource for information on all things green. The South Placer Green Team is a proactive response to the adoption of AB 32 by the state of California, input from renewable energy company CEOs, and customer demand for green building information. The cities of Roseville, Lincoln and Rocklin work cooperatively on a number of initiatives from transportation and public safety to workforce development and business attraction. By doing so, we help transform the regional economy into the 21st century, and help our area attract new businesses and residents. The first project sponsored by the South Placer Green Team is a residential solar program to standardize the permit process at all three cities. Standardization of the process will reduce the time and cost to prepare permits by solar companies in the area applying for solar retrofits on behalf of their customers. A standard application and checklist will be used at each city’s permit counter, with the only difference being the city logo at the top of the form. Residential solar permits will be processed by staff in three business days or less and a flat fee of $125 charged per permit. Local government plays a key role in supporting green efforts, by streamlining and coordinating processes to help residents and business owners use clean technology like solar. The three chief building officials of each city hosted two green building training sessions this month at Lincoln’s new city hall to more than 30 staff members from the three cities who work at their respective permit counters and planning and building departments. They studied Green Building 101 as presented by the officials: Todd Cunningham of Lincoln, Pete Guisasola of Rocklin and Gene Paolini of Roseville. Topics included community design, energy efficiency and building materials. These staff members assist thousands of customers annually and will now add green building information to the expertise they share at the counter with applicants. Future projects for the South Placer Green Team include standardizing permitting for commercial solar installations, conducting focus groups with commercial developers to solicit input on what City Hall can do to facilitate green building practices in future development, establishing a resource library of green links on each city Web site, engaging the South Placer utility providers in streamlining renewable energy permitting, and supporting a proposed Green Business Awards program.