Community Development Green Building Programs

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Solar Achievements  SolSmart-Logo_color.web.print

The City of Manhattan Beach received SolSmart Special Recognition for Demonstrating Solar Excellence in March 2019.

SolSmart is a national designation program, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office through the Solar Powering America by Recognizing Communities (SPARC) initiative, designed to recognize communities that have taken key steps to address local barriers to solar energy and foster the growth of mature local solar markets. A growing number of cities and counties nationwide have achieved SolSmart designation since the program launched in 2016.

In addition to achieving GOLD Designation, Manhattan Beach was presented with a Special Recognition Award in the Inspection category. The SolSmart Special Recognition Award celebrates and shines a light on communities that have gone above and beyond – earning at least 60% of the total points available in one or more of the eight SolSmart categories (Permitting; Planning, Zoning and Development; Inspection; Construction Codes; Solar Rights; Utility Engagement; Community Engagement; and Marketing, Development and Finance).

As a SolSmart Special Recognition Award winner, Manhattan Beach joins an exclusive and diverse group of communities across the U.S. who have not only satisfied the minimum requirements, but exceeded the high standards established by the SolSmart Criteria Advisory Committee.

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Community Development: Greening Your City

The Community Development Department is responsible for reviewing all private development proposals and issuing building permits. The Department also conducts special studies and prepares ordinances related to land use and building regulations as directed by the City Council. The City of Manhattan Beach requires simple inexpensive techniques for new construction to encourage more sustainable building practices. In addition, City plan check engineers review proposed building plans for required minimum energy conservation measures per the California Energy Code.

The City of Manhattan Beach has adopted several sustainable building, energy and water efficiency measures into the building and zoning codes. Please refer to the following sections of the Manhattan Beach Municipal code for more information: Landscaping, irrigation, and hydroseeding; Sustainable developmentSolar energy system permit expeditingSustainable green building program and energy efficiency standards.

Need to learn about energy conservation, or want to find out if photovoltaic solar panels (PDF) are for you? The Community Development Department has information on conservation tips and green building designs.

If you have questions about trees in the City, you can view the City's Tree Ordinance, as well as handouts on tree care on the Department's Tree Ordinance website. More information on street trees on public property, in the parkway and public right-of-way can be found on the Public Works Department's street tree maintenance page.

Sustainable Building
Sustainable development focuses on designing buildings that are designed to significantly reduce or eliminate the negative impact they have on the environment and on the people who occupy them. Buildings account for 48% of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. By encouraging and requiring green building techniques, they can become more efficient, reduce consumption of energy, water, materials, and ultimately reduce their impact on the environment. Green building design and construction practices address site planning, water quality, energy efficiency, conservation of materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality.  

The former Environmental Task Force made green building recommendations to City Council. You can view the March 17, 2009 Council Meeting on our website, as well as read the Staff Report (PDF) for more information.

Effective August 6, 2009, the new Sustainable Building Ordinance 2124 requires Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards for new municipal buildings and large non-residential construction. Municipal buildings must meet the higher Gold standard of the LEED requirements, including registration of the project. Non-residential construction must meet at least the equivalent of the Silver LEED standard, but need not register the projects. Please refer to the ordinance and to the Sustainable Construction & Energy Conservation webpage for more information, or contact the Community Development Department with any questions.