Denver residents will find Initiated Ordinance 300 on their November ballots this year. The initiative aims to reduce Denver’s urban heat island by requiring new buildings over 25,000 square feet to incorporate rooftop gardens or solar panels. The voter-initiated ballot question was organized by a group of environmental activists and if passed, would have a great impact on the real estate community, Denver tenants, and ultimately, our economy.
Otherwise known as the Denver Green Roof Initiative, the group states the addition of green space at the roof level would help keep buildings cooler through evapotranspiration while also improving overall air quality.
While certainly a laudable notion, opposition states the sweeping mandate is not the right approach. Citizens for a Responsible Denver argue I-300 will drive up costs to own Denver commercial buildings, thus, making the market that much more expensive – ultimately, affecting Denver’s overall economy for the worse.
Earlier in October and alongside the building and real estate industries, Governor Hickenlooper spoke out in opposition to the mandate. While acknowledging Denver’s push to achieve sustainability objectives, he reinforced the opposition’s stand that I-300 goes “too far, too fast” and would, in fact, have a negative impact on Denver’s green infrastructure by eliminating options.
We encourage Denver voters to understand the initiative in its full capacity prior to casting votes in this month’s ballot. Learn more about both sides by visiting Ballotpedia.