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Model Ordinance Toolkit

Change begins with you! Changes at the local level can add up to big savings—in greenhouse gas emissions and taxpayer dollars. Improving the energy efficiency and clean energy mix of your city or county and keeping your waterways free of polluting nutrients can fight climate change and harmful algal blooms. To learn more and be connected with others interested in this work, email flconservation@audubon.org and sign up to receive our electronic newsletter for opportunities to lend your voice to Florida and its climate.

Curious about what your city or county could do? Here are some of the common ways small communities can make a huge difference. To make it even easier, we’ve included examples—model ordinances—that your city or county staff can consider as a starting point for crafting the solutions that work best in your community.

There’s no time to waste. Let’s get started today!

Electric Vehicle Infrastructure

Electric Vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure is a significant cost investment. Municipalities and developers may not install charging stations if there are no EV drivers currently using the property or demanding public access to charging stations.

Solutions

Engage in expert discussions with municipalities who have existing electric vehicle infrastructure.

Mandated electric vehicle infrastructure tied to new construction projects and areas of public parking.

Require electric vehicle infrastructure plans for all county/city managed renovation projects.

Model Ordinances

Miami-Dade County

Town of Davie, FL

Atlanta, GA

For more information, click here.

Fleet Conversion and Greenhouse Gas Emission Data

Municipal leaders can’t make decisions on fleet conversion without accurate data on current fleet greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Greenhouse gas emission data is a critical step in establishing a rationale and system for transitioning the fleet.

Solutions

During annual fleet inventory evaluations, include an inventory of GHG emissions for each fuel type used by the fleet.

Require an annual report documenting fleet GHG emissions from all departmentthat manage more than three vehicles.

Based on the fleet GHG emissions data collected, establish a fleet conversion timeline for each department.

Model Ordinances

Miami-Date County

Louisville, Kentucky

For more information, click here.

Cool/Green Roofing Standards

As urban centers expand to accommodate Florida’s increasing population, the impacts associated with the heat island effect are growing. Impaired water quality; incidents of heat related mortality; increased energy consumption; and elevated emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases are a few examples of heat island dangers. These impacts place a significant strain on public safety services and considerably increase energy costs for local government operations.

Solutions

Adopt cool/green roofing standards for new roof construction and replacement roofs.

Require all government owned or managed buildings to convert to cool or green roofs within 10 years.

Establish a sustainability fund for collection of ordinance waiver fees. The sustainability fund shall be used for local government sustainability projects.

Model Ordinances

Miami Beach, FL

Dallas, TX

Denver, CO

For more information, click here.

Stormwater Runoff

Uncontrolled stormwater runoff from land development, commercial and residential rooftops, parking lots, and dense urban development can have significant negative effects upon local and regional water resources. Pollutants, fertilizers, trace metals, debris, and toxins are picked up by the runoff and introduced into the nearest water body. Negative impacts include risks to public health, a decrease in water quality, and an increase in the frequency and duration of harmful algal bloom occurrences.

Solutions

Incentivize proactive stormwater management practices by offering stormwater fee utility credits.

Establish a list of credit-eligible stormwater management best practices for property owners.

Identify high stormwater runoff properties suitable for credit eligible best management practices.

Model Ordinances

Pasco County, FL

For more information, click here.

Electric Fleet Collaboration 

The Climate Mayors EV collaborative works with municipalities as a “one-stop” solution for electric vehicle procurement. The collaborative and its partners advise the purchasing municipality on currently available grants, federal incentives, no money down terms of financing only available to local government, and logistical support for rotating out the current traditional fuel vehicle. 

This support will enable some municipalities to leverage the grants, federal program incentives, and low entry/cost finance terms to begin fleet conversion without requesting funds through state legislative member project budget requests. 

Solutions

Join the Climate Mayors Electric Vehicle Collaborative.

Model Ordinance

 
For more information, click here.
 

Tree Canopy

Florida’s population growth has led to a rise in planned communities and commercial development. Both residential and commercial planning rarely take into account the heat island effect, which is exacerbated by the loss of natural green spaces. Trees are removed and open grass-covered areas are replaced with inefficient, impermeable building materials such as concrete. Urban centers can measure up to a double digit increase in temperature when compared to nearby rural areas on the same day. Significant warming of Florida’s communities can lead increased operating costs for local government and increased living costs for residents.

Solutions

Pass a county/city ordinance increasing the number of tree shaded areas within commercial districts.

Establish a list of native shade trees.

Establish minimum tree coverage criteria for large open-air ground spaces covered by an impervious material.

Educate the public, developers, and private property owners of greenhouse gas emission reductions provided by native tree canopies due to shade provided carbon sequestration. 

Model Ordinances

Austin, TX

Sacramento, CA

For more information, click here.
 

Green Building Program

Ongoing research continues to show that adopting green building construction and renovation standards can have a significant impact on the carbon footprint of a municipality. Outdated and inefficient green building standards increase local government operating costs, higher consumer energy costs, significant increase in energy consumption, costly building maintenance and contribution to the heat island effect and sea level rise.
 
Solutions
 
Mandatory implementation on any new building projects, reconstruction projects, and land development projects that are owned, operated, and/or financed by the state.
 
Identify a nationally recognized green building certification standard that meets the needs of the municipality.
 
Model Ordinances
 
 
 
 
 
 
For more information, click here.
 

Government Operations Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory

Cities, counties and universities all generate carbon emissions in the course of their operations, from the conventionally generated electricity they use to the fossil-fueled vehicles they employ. Reducing these emissions by improving energy efficiency and switching to renewable energy sources is essential, but you can’t gauge progress without first knowing where you’re starting from. Greenhouse Gas (GHG) inventories establish a baseline for the size of an entity’s carbon footprint, against which the success of a reduction action plan may be measured. Inventories can cost from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars, though. Read on for strategies to help lower the cost of inventories, and shepherd your city, county or university through this important process.  

Solutions

Join a membership structured organization such as ICLEI USA.

Collaborate with other member municipalities to establish a cost sharing agreement, reducing overall costs associated with establishing a GHG inventory.

Partner with local universities and utilities to establish a data sharing program agreement to offset GHG inventory costs.

Model Ordinances

One example of a membership greenhouse gas emission inventory organization is ICLEI. ICLEI has been recognized by the United Nations for their work; see more here.

Fore more information, click here.

How you can help, right now