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A Greener Code?
Today's show about Measures 63 and 64 elicited some very strong arguments, most of them solidly for and against the measures. But 63 -- which would allow Oregonians to make up to $35,000 each year in certain home improvements without a permit -- also brought out a few interestingly ambivalent stances.
We got this from Andy Louden:
- As a firefighter and former contractor I see both sides of the issues. The code is there for a reason, life safety. Unfortunately, the permitting process is difficult and expensive. Local government uses permits as a source of revenue. Their cost are based on the value of the work, not the actual cost incurred by government to perform the inspection. As an example, I paid over $600 for a permit to install solar panels on my home due to the cost of the panels. The actual inspection took less than 15 minutes. If we are truly concerned about safety, make the process easy to navigate and reasonable in cost.
And a green building appeal from AndrewJohn:
- Isn't there an argument to be made for green living innovation in regard to this measure? Removing the financial and bureaucratic impediments to individuals renovating their own homes has the possibility to promote "green" innovation on a grassroots level. It seems to me that restrictive and sometimes proscriptive codes and permit requirements keep builders (DIY'ers or otherwise) from doing innovative and possibly beneficial forward thinking things such as strawbale and cob structures and lead us instead to continue to reproduce stifling, conventional, and unsustainable homes. We shouldn't let the personal arguments about Bill Sizemore from objectively considering the validity of measure 63.
Taking up the calls of AndrewJohn and Andy Louden, how -- if at all -- would you want to see building codes and permit requirements change?
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