STAY ENGAGED: LACo 'Green Building' Code Changes
BizFed’s Board mobilized in June to oppose proposed amendments to Title 31 of LA County Code (“green building”) as redundant and out of step with already-improving energy efficiency standards and statewide regulations.
At that time,the Supervisors delayed taking action pending further information from county staff. But that 60-day continuance is rapidly nearing an end, with no apparent changes to the proposal and no further outreach/engagement with the business community. The Supervisors are scheduled to consider this item again Aug. 7.
Read BizFed’s letter below renewing our concerns and opposition - and urging engagement with business.
With time short, please consider adding your organization’s voice to this issue.
July 26, 2012
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration
500 West Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Re: Proposed Amendments to Title 31 of the County Code (“Green” Building)
On behalf of the Los Angeles County Business Federation (BizFed), representing over 100 business organizations with more than 185,000 businesses across our region, we are writing to express our continuing concern with your Board’s consideration of proposed amendments to Title 31 of the County Code.
BizFed leaders are strongly supportive of environmentally sound building principals, and many of our business members have worked closely with the County in development of green building ordinances over the past four years. But BizFed does not support LA County’s adoption of additional requirements that are redundant and out of step with already-improving energy efficiency standards and statewide regulations.
While we are gratified that the Board sagely chose to continue its consideration of this item to seek additional information, with the end of the 60-day continuance rapidly approaching we remain highly concerned with the lack of County outreach to gain vital input from business and affected industries.
As you know, business owners already must comply with CALGreen Mandatory Measures which are more onerous than measures in other counties, putting business at a competitive disadvantage. Meanwhile, Title 24 (the state energy code for new construction) is already more onerous than energy policies in all other states, again putting LA County business at a competitive disadvantage.
The stringency of Title 24 also will increase in 2014 due to rules already adopted by the California Energy Commission. LA County does not need to take independent action, and taking action now will force builders to redesign any buildings planned for construction prior to 2014, damaging the already-fragile construction industry.
The impact on homeowners also will impact our economic recovery. The County’s own analysis reveals that in a best-case scenario it takes years for energy savings to offset the increased construction costs - and depending on the construction type and location, it can take decades for it to pay back.The small reduction in utility bills realized by homebuyers will be consumed by the mortgage payment from the increased cost.
There is no reason LA County must take this action at this time – there are no external mandates or legislative deadlines. Imposition of these new mandates will only hinder our economy as the building industry struggles to regain its footing in LA County – and create vitally needed jobs for our residents.
For these reasons, and others cited by leading business organizations including Building Owners & Managers Association, Building Industry Association – LA/Ventura Counties, and National Association of Industrial & Office Properties, BizFed urges your immediate engagement with affected industries. Without such stakeholder engagement, we must remain opposed to these proposed changes to Title 31 amendments and urge your rejection at this time.
BizFed and our members thank you for your consideration and stand ready to work with the Board of Supervisors to address any County concerns or questions.
John Kelsall, BizFed Chair, Greater Lakewood Chamber
David Fleming, BizFed Founding Chair, Latham & Watkins LLP
Tracy Rafter, BizFed CEO, IMPOWER, Inc.