In the Weeds

After green roof mandate win, opposing sides begin to map out implementation

Denver voters decided to take a step toward environmental sustainability after the passage of Initiative 300 earlier this month, which mandates that after January, most construction to buildings in the city will be required to include green roofs.

And NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Development Association Colorado chapter executive director Kathie Barstnar says the initiative sounds great in theory, but the ordinance language failed to examine key issues that could make compliance for many entities particularly challenging and expensive.

“It’s really easy to put a two-line statement on a ballot — ‘Would you like to see green space on rooftops?’ Even I think that sounds great,” she said. Citizens for a Responsible Denver, the coalition behind the campaign against the ordinance outspent proponents of Initiative 300 roughly 12 to one.

Opposition to the ordinance included apartment, roofing, realtor and development associations, as well as some members of Denver City Council and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. City Council President Albus Brooks called the regulations “cumbersome,” especially without exemptions for buildings like affordable housing.

To read this story and other complete articles featured in the November 27, 2017 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.