Developers Try — and Fail — to Delay the Green Roof Initiative

Many developers and real estate businesses campaigned hard against I-300, known as the Green Roof Initiative, before the most recent election on November 7. But despite outspending the initiative’s backers twelve to one, developers could not sway voters their way: Denver approved one of the most far-reaching green-roof ordinances in the nation, which requires new and renovated buildings of 25,000 square feet or larger to dedicate a portion of their rooftops to either solar panels or gardens.

The ordinance is slated to go into effect on January 1, 2018.

Still, developers are lobbying hard to control how the green-roof initiative is implemented and overseen.

The Colorado Real Estate Alliance, whose members include many businesses that campaigned against I-300, sent Mayor Michael Hancock and Denver City Council a letter on December 5 asking for a six-month stay of implementation of the ordinance.

“The passage of this ordinance has presented the City and its communitywide stakeholders with too significant a risk and an insufficient amount of time to safely and strategically implement the ordinance by January 1, 2018,” the letter says.

The letter lists fourteen different concerns and suggested areas of study that CREA believes are reasons to delay the green-roof requirement for six months. Among those concerns are availability of building materials, increased water usage, and “potential new public safety threats of buildings that will now fall under the new ordinance.”

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