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Environmental Commission Expands Scope Of ‘Green Roof Sub-Committee’

Environmental Commission member Robyn Suydam said a conversation with a Council member spurred her to suggest the change in the sub-committee’s scope.

The scope of an Environmental Commission sub-committee working on a “green roof” ordinance has been expanded.

The decision to expand the sub-committee’s charge came as a result of a suggestion by Commissioner Robin Suydam.

Suydam said her suggestion was spurred by a conversation with Township Councilmember Ed Potosnak, the Council’s liaison to the Commission.

The green roof ordinance was to be targeted at new warehouse development as a way to make the buildings more environmentally friendly.

Suydam said she questioned whether such an ordinance was even needed, given the Council’s recent introduction of an ordinance banning warehouses as conditional uses in all of the township’s planning zones, making it much harder for them to be built.

Suydam said Potosnak told her that the new ordinance doesn’t mean there won’t be any new warehouses in the township, adding that warehouses are not the only large buildings that are constructed.

“There are also other large buildings, where you want to have required roofing, as well as other concerns like the pollution that might be introduced with a large building,” she said.

“He recommended that we might consider reframing this as a large building ordinance,” Suydam said.

Suydam said she looked at other green building-oriented ordinances across the country, and noticed that many of them were triggered by buildings of a certain square footage.

She said other factors could be incorporated into the ordinance, such as what affect a proposed large building would have on air pollution.

Some towns, Suydam said, require builders to amass 100 points on a checklist of various environmentally friendly measures to take with their projects.

“There are a lot of ways to skin this animal and one of them could be, what are you doing to the air,” she said.

Suydam’s motion to expand the charge of the sub-committee was unanimously approved.

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