City Council Centers Climate Crisis with Changes to Parking, Building Codes

The October 10, 2022, Culver City Council meeting took on multiple changes to local building codes by voting for parking reforms, eliminating gas in new builds, and raising standards for energy efficiency. 

While the Public Hearing on changes to parking codes was an introduction of the ordinance – it will need to be read to another meeting for final legal approval – it can be cited as significant shift away from parking requirements on public streets and private property. 

While Vice Mayor Albert Vera held that this was too much change, happening too quickly, Mayor Daniel Lee offered “We are not doing as much as we need to do to address … climate crisis…this is not an ordinance that eliminates parking, this is an ordinance that eliminates parking minimums.”

The motion to amend the municipal parking code passed three to two. 

A reach code is defined as a local building energy code that “reaches” beyond the state minimum requirements for energy use in building design and construction, creating opportunities for local governments to lead the way on clean air, climate solutions, and the renewable energy economy. The report from city staff on electrification ‘reach codes’ – The recommendation to make new buildings in Culver City all-electric is focused towards decreasing and finally eliminating the need for natural gas. 

Multiple laws from both federal and state authorities have created both deadlines and financial incentives to make things more energy efficient, and the changes to electrical, plumbing and energy codes. “The city held nine outreach meetings in 2020, to get community input…there is a statewide public process that must be followed though.” 

The inclusion of grey-water (on site reuse of water) requirements was promoted by Mayor Lee. “I know I’ve said this before, but I feel that the drought is semi-permanent, and we need to keep a focus on how we use water.” 

With some exemptions for emergency services, police and fire, the ordinance was approved, and will return to the council for final approval next month. 

Through several hours of detailed discussion, the council made strides towards meeting the state and federal standards to make energy use more efficient, and decrease the amount of public space required for vehicle storage. 

Judith Martin-Straw


The Actors' Gang

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.