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Eau Claire Sustainability Committee Approves Ordinance Proposal

Eau Claire Sustainability Committee Approves Ordinance Proposal

June 21, 2024 12:16 PM CDT

By: James Kelly

The Eau Claire Sustainability Advisory Committee has approved some of the new ordinance proposals introduced earlier this week.

The committee was considering a variety of new sustainability practices, including the addition of a full-time staff position to handle sustainability concerns, a new building ordinance to protect birds from flying into windows, and the Navigator program.

Of those proposals, the sustainability advisory committee voted to move forward with the bird-safe glass ordinance and to approve a letter of support for the Navigator program.

The bird-safe glass ordinance proposal would require that all new buildings of at least 10,000 square feet with glass on over half would be required to use treated windows. According to a WQOW report, officials say that in urban areas colliding into windows is one of the main causes of bird deaths. The ordinance is scheduled to be reviewed by the zoning advisory policy committee in August.

The Navigator program would create incentives for older housing units and low-income rentals around Eau Claire to upgrade their energy efficiency with projects like HVAC, window, heating and insulation upgrades. Not only would those upgrades benefit the overall reduction of emissions in the city, but residents in those buildings could see reductions in their utility bills.

The sustainability advisory committee did not vote on the potential new full-time staff position, but plans to submit a letter of support for public discussion on the Capital Improvement Plan next week. Currently, the committee does not know how much adding that position would cost and those discussions are still in their early stages.

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