Western Real Estate Business

MAY 2018

Western Real Estate Business magazine covers the multifamily, retail, office, healthcare, industrial and hospitality sectors in the Western United States.

Issue link: https://westernrealestatebusiness.epubxp.com/i/978056

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Page 56 of 66

54 • May 2018 • Western Real Estate Business www.REBusinessOnline.com • An affordable housing project of 140,000 square feet with a 40 percent mandate would have an added cost of $392,000. The Role of Citizen Initiative Green roofs are often considered by cities as part of larger sustainabil- ity programs. This was true in Den- ver too, but was not moving quickly enough for some. Colorado is known for having a low bar for citizen initiatives. The same is true at the city level. To get an initia- tive on the November 2017 ballot re- quired 4,726 signatures (5 percent of the vote in the last mayoral election). The controversial measure passed despite opposition from Denver busi- nesses and Mayor Michael Hancock. While it has pushed the conversation forward and forced development to comply, it has also caused confusion because it lacked a more deliberate stakeholder process. Changes Anticipated, But Not for Some Time As the proponents of the initiative have acknowledged, changes are needed to provide further clarity. The proponents have supported potential exemptions for schools, hospitals, nonprofits and historic buildings. In the same election, Denver passed a $950 million bond measure provid- ing funding for numerous public projects. Green roof construction costs were not part of the city's origi- nal budgeting. To implement the initiative, the city proposed rules and regulations to provide clarity, where possible, and incorporate the initiative's require- ments into permitting and contractor licensing procedures. For example, the regulations provide an exemp- tion process for historic buildings and buildings which require major struc- tural alterations in order to install a green roof. The city anticipates issu- ing the final regulations in the coming month. The Denver city charter does not allow any change, or repeal, of a vot- er-approved initiative for at least six months after the election and requires a two-thirds majority of the city coun- cil. So, for at least six months, and potentially longer, the initiative went into effect as-is, with the city's regula- tions filling in some gaps. In the meantime, Denver convened a Green Roofs Review Task Force of stakeholders to work on recommend- ed changes for the city council. Any changes are anticipated to honor the citizen vote and may include more options to achieve sustainability, with green roofs being one of several. What Does a Green Roof Look Like in the West? Toronto and San Francisco have similar mandates. Seattle and Chicago have larger sustainability programs that include green roofs. Denver is the first to include roof replacements in the green roof mandate. Green roofs aren't green year-round. With Denver's seasonal changes, the roofs change too. Denver has rounds of freezing and thawing, strong sun- light, winter snow storms and sum- mer hail. It is arid or semi-arid and has limited water. Green roof contrac- tors typically use plants native to Col- orado, and they need extra irrigation. Denver Water recently estimated that green roofs could increase potable wa- ter needs as well. Green roofs also capture and hold water and snow runoff, which has benefits to the stormwater system but raises water rights questions. Colo- rado's prior appropriation system ap- plies to rain falling onto roofs just as it does water in streams. The initiative and regulations likely conflict with Colorado law and provide no options for projects without an approved aug- mentation plan. n Alicia Turlington 404-832-8262 aturlington@francemediainc.com REGISTRATION & GENERAL INFO: Eric Goldberg 404-832-8262 egoldberg@francemediainc.com SPONSORSHIP & SPEAKING INFO: Rich Kelley 914-468-0818 rkelley@francemediainc.com interfaceconferencegroup.com/srm2018 The Biggest Seniors Housing Event in the Midwest! Seniors Housing Business, Heartland Real Estate Business and the InterFace Conference Group are pleased to host the 4th annual InterFace Seniors Housing Midwest conference on June 7th at the Marriott Marquis in Chicago. The event will feature eight high level information sessions on the state of seniors housing, development, investment, financing and operations in the Midwest. If you are active in seniors housing or interested in learning more about this burgeoning sector of commercial real estate, THIS IS A MUST-ATTEND EVENT! June 7 th » Chicago » Marriott Marquis 4 th Annual I N T E R F A C E SENIORS HOUSING MIDWEST GOLD SPONSORS SILVER SPONSORS PLATINUM SPONSORS H E A L T H T R U S T FEATURED SPEAKERS: Joel Nelson President & CEO LCS Rob Gillette Chief Operating Officer American House Adam Kaplan Founder & CEO Solera Senior Living Jeff Sands Managing Principal HJ Sims Gale Morgan Senior Vice President Mather Lifeways Kai Hsiao CEO Eclipse Senior Living Adam Heavenrich Managing Director Heavenrich & Company

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