Here’s a timeline of what we have done thus far. I hope to keep this regularly updated:
July 2009: Requested from the county and building code director minor plat subdivision so another person could join our community and build a house. Request denied
September, 2009: Met with the code director and asked what we needed to do to get approval for another house site. He said it needed to go before the planning and zoning board and gave the impression that approval would not be difficult. We felt encouraged.
October 2009: We prepared a power point presentation for the planning and zoning board that described the philosophy and mission of our intentional community, highlighted the types of sustainable building and technologies we use and requested permission for a minor plat subdivision. The board seemed interested in the kind of things we were doing and somewhat supportive of the idea of green building. The director who had seemed encouraging in his office now strongly recommended that we not be granted permission to subdivide unless we followed regulations of a major plat subdivision. A board member suggested we formulate state legislation to get a green building code passed in Kentucky.
May 2010: Members of Egret’s Cove and members of Curtis Pike intentional communities met to discussed how we could get a movement for green building codes going. Decided to gather lists of people who may be interested in helping. Set a goal for August to have our first meeting.
September 13, 2010: Had our first public meeting. About 10 people attended made up mostly members of the 2 intentional communities. We began a list of priorities to be included in a model building code such as special provisions for owner-builders, out-come or performance based criteria for evaluation of a project, provisions for on-site water collection and waste water treatment, special privileges for builders who incorporate a high number of sustainable principles to minimize environmental impact and flexibility for innovation and experimentation. We looked at The National Association of Home Builders Green Home Building Guidelines and discussed the possibility of using them as a framework for our model. Dr. Alice Jones from EKU’s Geography Department who will be teaching a class on community development and planning in the Spring offered to collaborate with us. She and her students have worked with Madison County in the past to incorporate sustainable principles, like a system of bike paths, into the county plan. A subcommittee was formed and will meet in early October to flush out a strategy for engaging more stake holders in the area for greater input and to create a time-table for developing this model.
October 5, 2010: Subcommittee met. We came up with a list of priorities that we would like to see addressed in green building codes. I agreed to write up a statement of who we are and what direction we are taking to present to stake holders to give them background. (See “Fall 2010 Statement” posted on November 18, 2010). Several members committed to contacting potentially interested peopel in the community.
November 15, 2010:Second public meeting. During the previous month, subcommittee members set up interviews with stake holders personally inviting them to this meeting so we got a wider variety of people attending, Habitat for Humanity building supervisor, Berea College professor, future owner-builders who want to use sustainable design. Got a brief history of citizen groups who have advocated for sustainable planning for the county. Also reviewed the green building codes I found on the web (United Kingdom, Sante Fe, Santa Monica and California). Dr Jones from EKU gave update on what her planning students will be doing in the Spring. See post for more details.
December 6, 2010: A subcommittee met with Duane Curry to talk about next steps in the planning process. We will be working in cooperation with Dr. Jones’ planning class who will present a recommendation to city and county government officials on April 26, 2011. See post for more details.
January 10, 2011: A follow up meeting to update group on Duane Curry’s recommendations. Volunteers agreed to meet with Dr. Jones’ E.K.U. Land Use Planning Class and to meet with Kent Clark. See post for more details
January 20, 2011. Subcommitte gave a presentation to the Spring 2011 “GEO 325: Land Use and Environmental Planning” class at Eastern Kentucky University. See post for more details.
April 28, 2011:The Spring 2011 “GEO 325: Land Use and Environmental Planning” class at Eastern Kentucky University presented a set of recommended “Green Planning Codes” for Madison County. Berea’s mayor, Steve Connelly, made arrangements for the students to present to the Berea Planning Commission. See post for more details.
May 10, 2011: E.K.U. class presented their green building proposal for Madison County to the Berea planning commission.
May 17, 2011: E.K.U. class presented to Madison County Planning Commission. Was a packed agenda so presentation was shorter. Two questions from commissioners: one about the requirements of other municipalities for raparian borders on ag. land, the other about getting a list of resources for the planning office of funding sources for green building.
May 26, 2011: A subcommittee met with county judge executive, Kent Clark, to introduce the idea of green building guidelines for Madison County. See post for more details.