Vote “no” on Denver’s Green Roof Initiative

We’re big fans of trees here on the Denver Post editorial board, but we’re asking voters to reject Initiated Ordinance 300, which would force owners of many buildings to install rooftop gardens or solar panels. Residents should thank environmental activists for raising awareness to the usefulness of gardens atop buildings, but they should reject this misguided overreach.

The activists placed the measure on this year’s ballot through a petition campaign. City officials aren’t responsible for the request, and Mayor Michael Hancock — a big friend of the environment — rightly stands against the measure.

Read more at The Denver Post.

Mayor Hancock: Green roof initiative is ‘not the right approach for Denver’

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock has formally opposed Initiative 300, a ballot measure that would require building owners to make changes to their properties incorporating “green roof” amenities.

Hancock’s office earlier this week issued a statement to members of the Denver City Council voicing his opposition to the measure, a citizen-initiated ordinance certified by the Denver Elections Division last month.

Read more at Denver Business Journal

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is against Green Roof Initiative, says it “goes too far too fast”

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is opposing a citizen initiative on the November ballot that would require most new city buildings of at least 25,000 square feet to have gardens, solar panels or other “green roof” components, saying it “goes too far too fast.”

“While green roofs support many sustainability objectives, Initiative 300 is not the right approach for Denver,” Hancock said of the Green Roof Initiative in a letter this week to the Denver City Council. “… By taking a mandate-only approach and eliminating the opportunity for options, the initiative would actually hinder efforts to pilot, promote, phase and incentivize green infrastructure, as is being done in many of our peer cities across the United States.”

Read more at The Denver Post

Denver Green Roof Initiative Meets Strong Opposition

An initiative that would require many buildings in Denver to feature environment-friendly “green roof” amenities that will appear on the city’s ballot this November, has met strong opposition from the commercial real estate industry, concerned about the negative impact the proposed ordinance could have on Denver.

The ordinance would require all new commercial buildings over 25,000-square-feet and all existing commercial buildings over 25,000-square-feet that replace a roof, to have at least 20 percent green space or solar panels. The larger the building, the greater the percentage — all the way up to 60 percent for buildings 200,000-square-feet and larger.

Read more at Mile High CRE

Brush Fire Burns Roof Of Seattle Skyscraper

SEATTLE, WA – This isn’t your typical brush fire. A garden on the rooftop of a notable downtown Seattle skyscraper caught fire Monday night. According to pictures from the incident, it appears that some tall grasses in the garden were a main part of the fire

The fire was reported just after 7 p.m. Monday at 1310 2nd Avenue, which is the address of the Russell Investments Center. The same block also contains the Seattle Art Museum. The main building itself, the sixth tallest in Seattle, is 42 stories, but the roof garden where the fire broke out is located on a shorter building in front of the main tower.

Read more at Patch.com.

Green roofs will benefit Denver, but they shouldn’t be mandated

The best thing that can be said for a proposed “green roofs” ballot initiative in Denver is that it would address problems of genuine concern. Big cities do in fact function as “urban heat islands” that boost temperatures (especially at night) by several degrees compared to rural areas and thus require more energy and water use.

And because of Denver’s relatively dry and sunny climate, its heat island effect is even more pronounced than in most cities. One climate advocacy group ranked Denver a few years ago as the nation’s third most intense heat island.

Read more at The Denver Post.