Also: Triad scales back role in Angwin project; Bohemian Stoneworks moves to SebastopolA group calling itself the Santa Rosa Neighborhood Association created a furor in the West End portion of the city early this summer by circulating fliers claiming "the city of Santa Rosa is in the process of imposing green building requirements on all existing buildings that will impact your home and business."
The flier, which bore the word "Notice" in large, underscored capital letters at the top, said the city is "currently crafting" guidelines for "every property" for mandatory inspections and testing as well as energy-efficiency upgrades when closing escrow on a sale and obtaining remodeling permits.
On July 10, City Manager Jeff Kolin posted a response on the city Web site to the "official-looking flier," saying "much of the information in the flier is not true or misleading" about adopted policy. The City Council in December adopted green-building requirements for new construction, and higher standards take effect this year.
"The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Community Action Plan adopted by the City Council includes recommendations about making existing buildings more energy-efficient in order to achieve the countywide goal of reducing GHG by 168,000 tons by 2015," he wrote. Increasing energy efficiency of older homes and buildings is seen as key to reaching that goal.
He noted that the council didn't approve mandatory energy measures for existing buildings in the Dec. 16 Green Building Advisory Committee report but rather called for "work plans" on tackling existing-building emissions.
"Be assured that before adopting any policy of this type, there will be opportunities for public review and input," Mr. Kolin wrote.
The neighborhood group noted that the city Planning Commission recommended revisions to the draft city General Plan update, which were heard Thursday, include existing-structure energy upgrades and audits in residential energy-efficiency policy H-G-1. The commission is recommending implementation by 2011 rather than an "ongoing" timeframe in a previous draft. These policies would have to be enacted by ordinance through the City Council.
Pacific Union College in the mountaintop community of Angwin east of Napa announced in July that it will take the lead role in gaining development entitlements for a proposed 380-unit "eco-village." The developer up to that point, Triad Communities, cited economic conditions for scaling back its role to project adviser.
The college board will figure out how to proceed with the sale of 560 surplus acres upon any project approval, including a sale to Triad. The school started the development plan to raise as much as $80 million for an endowment. A draft environmental report is set to be released this fall, and public hearings could begin early next year.
[caption id="attachment_13109" align="alignright" width="288" caption="Bohemian Stoneworks embedded a copper sink in a concrete countertop."][/caption]
Bohemian Stoneworks, a maker of high-end concrete surfaces for North Bay custom homes, wineries, restaurants and spas, is moving its shop from Dillon Beach on the northern Marin County coast in August to 6794 Depot St. in Sebastopol to accommodate more work and fulfill what the owner describes as the green-minded mission of the business.