- Create an incentive program supporting local government policy on sustainable development
- limit to certain types or qualities of projects; in return, the projects are given partial permit fee rebate at project completion and certification
- to improve the quality of life in Mecklenburg County.
The BDC has noted the voice of concern from the public regarding the manner in which development occurs in the next 25 years. Responsible development should be rewarded. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Commission, the City of Charlotte and the surrounding Towns throughout Mecklenburg County have participated in extensive planning efforts to address Smart Growth in their respective communities. Developers recognizing their contribution to the environmental status of the community and responding with Sustainable Development (design and implementation) should be encouraged. Through this program, the BDC strives to proactively encourage Smart Growth development through permit fee incentives using regulations and the existing permitting and inspection (P&I) process to verify compliance.
Sustainable Design Basis
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their building's performance. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, conservation of materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality.
The Department will consider "equal" programs other than those specified (LEED, et al), which pursue the program's overall purpose of encouraging sustainable design while meeting other criteria set by the Department. Upon request, the Department will verify if a program is equal to the existing accepted programs. These "equal" programs will pay for any administrative expense involved in evaluating their criteria. Accepted programs may be added to the list of qualifying certifications for future program users.
Approved Certification Programs
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
The Green Globes Program
NC HealthyBuilt Homes
NAHB National Green Building Program
The following criteria must be met:
- Project must be in Mecklenburg County.
- Funds are budgeted each fiscal year and distributed until the budget line item is depleted; therefore the amount of the rebate must be available.
- Eligibility to receive the fee rebate expires 24 months after the permit receives a Certificate of Occupancy (CO).
How Our Program Works:
Prior to the Certificate of Occupancy being issued for a project the Project Owner must submit a written application for a Green Permit Rebate to Documents & Inspections at Code Enforcement. Upon receipt of the application the Department will list that project in pending status. Upon achieving certification the Owner will submit the Green Permit Rebate certification form to Documents & Inspections. Upon receipt Documents & Inspections will verify;
- The project qualifies for the program;
- The certification is valid, and conforms to the program;
- The application was received prior to the issuing of the Certificate of Occupancy;
- The project has a valid Certificate of Occupancy;
- The project is in good standing (no current holds on the project);
- The Program has enough money left in the fund to provide the full rebate.
As a condition of this fee rebate, all project owners must agree to the use of their project name and images for the promotion of this program.
- Subtract any fee rebates obtained by the Contractor (for contractors low failure rate) from the project permit fee (per the LUESA Fee Ordinance) to obtain the Net Permit Fee.
- Net Permit Fee does not include zoning or fire fees.
- Apply the following Fee Modifications to the Net Permit Fee
Sustainable Design basis fee modification: provides a rebate of up to 25% of the Net Permit Fee to a maximum of $100,000 for projects on the following scale:
- All rebates will be issued to the owner designated on the application form. The "owner" is the individual or entity that retains ownership of the project/property at the time the Certificate of Occupancy (CO) is issued.
The program is funded by the initial start-up funds of $1,150,000 plus an annual 2%-5% maximum set aside of the previous year's building permit fees. This amount will be agreed to annually with the BDC and the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) as a part of the annual budget process. For example, in FY06 the set aside would have been $396,960 (2% x 19.848m). The overall accounting for the demand of this program will also become part of the Department's budget development process. Any funds that are not paid out by the end of the Fiscal Year will be evaluated for carry-over.
If all funding is exhausted, the qualifying projects will be allowed to re-apply the following budget year by submitting a new Certification Form.
THIS PROGRAM PROVIDES NO GUARANTEE THAT FUNDING WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR REBATES.
CUSTOMERS WHO ELECT TO UTILIZE THIS FEE REBATE PROGRAM AGREE TO THE DISPUTE RESOLUTION SET FORTH IN THIS PARAGRAPH, AND THE OTHER CONDITIONS SET FORTH IN THIS PROGRAMS DESCRIPTION. The existing appeal process, ending locally with the Director of Code Enforcement, will be used to resolve any disagreements regarding program qualification, or final certification. Should the customer choose to appeal beyond the Director of Code Enforcement, both parties will engage an arbitrator selected by the Department, with the arbitrator cost charged solely to the customer.
Program Annual Review
The program will be reviewed on an annual basis as part of the Departments budget process. The data may also be reviewed by the BDC, as it sees fit, as a part of their regular monthly meetings. Rebates provided by this program are not guaranteed, failure to fund this program by the Department will not result in liability for outstanding or future rebates.