Mayor Fuller released this via her email newsletter on Wednesday.
Building Green in Newton
Two new “building energy efficiency” ordinances will help make Newton greener. The City Council passed the new ordinances on Monday.
One ordinance allows homeowners and small property owners to be exempt from specified zoning rules to increase the energy efficiency and sustainability of their homes and businesses. For example, a small vestibule can now be built on the front entrance of a house without the usual amount of setback between the home and the property line that zoning usually requires if it increases energy efficiency. Another example involves solar panels which can now be added to the roof of a home even if the panels slightly exceed the usual maximum height requirement.
Another ordinance requires developers of large projects in Newton (20,000-square-feet and above) to commit to a higher level of sustainability. Their buildings will have to be certifiable through a green rating system such as LEED, Passive House or Enterprise Green Communities. Certification includes requirements ranging from electric appliances, energy efficient heating and cooling systems to water saving measures and solar.