City May Require Greener Homes

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Developers who want to build new homes in Wilton Manors may soon have to offer greener amenities.

Commissioner Tom Green suggested the change to the building code, which would require future residential buildings with a car port or garage to be fitted with an outlet capable of being used to power a car charging station. Installing a station would be optional. The commission, except Mayor Gary Resnick, voted to place the item on the agenda of the next commission meeting on July 14.

Green said existing home owners would not have to spend “one penny of money” to add outlets, only homes that have yet to be built. Homes being renovated could fall under the requirement if the majority of the structure is being demolished. Vice Mayor Scott Newton said he would only support the measure if it didn’t force builders to install charging stations.

Currently, the city’s building code allows builders to voluntarily choose to install the outlet.

“Voluntarily doesn’t carry a lot of weight with people,” Green said.

But Resnick and Commissioner Julie Carson, although supportive of a greener city, said they didn’t want to force anyone to add an outlet.

Carson said forcing people to add bike racks in their home might encourage more bicycling around the city and a reduction of car usage.

“Is that something we should require? I don’t think so . . . but I certainly welcome the discussion,” she said.

Commissioner Justin Flippen also suggested city staff look into other possible green requirements but proposed the city use incentives to ensure compliance, such as possibly defraying the permit costs associated with installing an outlet.

Resnick, who worries that the requirements could negatively impact affordable housing and make it more expensive, rejected Flippen’s incentive idea. “I don’t want to raise taxes to pay for building renovations.”

 


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