To encourage the expansion of green communities, cities and counties are offering a wide variety of incentives to developers to support sustainable design and construction.
American City & County's July issue features a viewpoint from Monica Sloboda, vice chair of the Real Estate Practice Group for Walnut Creek, Calif.-based Morgan Miller Blair law firm, that lists five non-monetary incentives that cities and counties have developed to encourage the construction of sustainable projects.
Number one is density bonuses that allow developers to build projects with higher floor area ratios or other density measures if they satisfy specified green standards, such as the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) point-based Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.
While direct economic incentives remain important to encourage sustainable development, a city's inability to offer those incentives does not necessarily mean that it will not be able to encourage green building. The investment of time, energy and creativity to increase the types of non-economic incentives could make a significant difference in a city's ability to encourage sustainable development during times of financial challenge.