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Louisville city council drops green building code requirements for residents rebuilding from the Marshall Fire

Adopts ordinance that eliminates sprinkler requirements for all new single family and townhouse construction
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Posted at 10:32 PM, Apr 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-06 10:10:35-04

LOUISVILLE, Colo. — The Louisville City Council adopted an ordinance Tuesday that will allow Marshall Fire victims to rebuild in accordance with previous building codes rather than the city's new green building codes.

The codes were adopted in Nov. 2021 in an effort to create a net-zero carbon footprint from all new residential construction in Louisville. Essentially, the codes aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, some residents felt the clean energy measures would make it too costly to rebuild.

On Tuesday, city council adopted an ordinance that allows residents to rebuild in accordance with 2018 building standards.

Homeowners can still choose to rebuild using the 2021 codes. Residents who rebuild according to the green building codes could receive an "anticipated $7,500 rebate" from Xcel Energy, according to the ordinance.

If a homeowner chooses to sell their property instead of rebuild, the new owners must rebuild in accordance with the 2021 standards.

The city council also adopted an ordinance that eliminates the requirement for sprinkler systems in all new single family and townhouse construction in Louisville. This applies to all new construction, not just that related to the Marshall Fire.

Chief John Wilson with the Louisville Fire Protection District spoke out against the ordinance during Tuesday's meeting, calling it a safety issue.

"This is for our safety, for your safety," he said.

The district gave the city council an information packet detailing the importance of sprinklers in residential homes. In it, the district stated that installing smoke alarms and fire sprinklers can reduce the risk of death in a home fire by 82% relative to having neither. Since Jan. 1, there have been seven fire deaths in Colorado, according to the Louisville Fire Protection District.