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RECA Testimony: Solar Ready Zones

June 15, 2017

Thank you, Mayor, Mayor Pro-Tem, and Members of Council for allowing me the opportunity to testify on this resolution. My name is Geoffrey Tahuahua and I am the Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs for the Real Estate Council of Austin. Together we are comprised of over 1,900 commercial real estate professionals throughout Austin and represent the premier advocacy organization for the Central Texas commercial real estate industry.

We are here today to speak in favor of this ordinance, providing that council could address two specific concerns. Specifically, while it is true that there are many instances in commercial where existing structures are already designed in such a way that they will automatically comply with these rules, there will still be some instances where certain commercial sites cannot comply. This is especially the case in smaller commercial structures where it may prove more difficult to achieve adequate space on the roof. In addition to this request, we would be happy to sit down with staff and provide feedback for how the plan review process will function with the additional page and plan requirements to ensure that plan submittals do not lose any efficiency that’s already been gained under Rodney’s leadership at Development Services.

Lastly, we’d like to highlight that without council addressing the issues with the plumbing code, which will be debated later as Item 104. This ordinance will add an additional layer of complexity and cost on residential that we simply cannot support. If the City intends to maintain the status quo on the plumbing code, RECA would recommend removing one and two-family dwellings under R701.5 (on page 4) from the requirement.

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