Minutes 11/12/2010 Department of Health.
Though the goals of this department are laudable, their requirements and regulations are very difficult for small eco-friendly communities to pass. What type of law should we propose to either gain exemptions for eco-friendly communities or an actual law change for experimental sustainable communities?
Shall we go through all the laws and change them bits at a time?
Or shall we propose a variance law that exempts us from these laws in general.
* As most of you realize there are fundamental problems with prescriptive, enforcement based approaches to regulation. End result is usually “everything not specifically allowed is not allowed.” If it’s not in the code, it’s illegal by default, and the code only describes very (too!) specifically what is allowed, and is unreasonably difficult to change.
One alternative would be describing *processes* to be used to determine if something is OK. Not “material X or method Y is OK,” but “here are processes we will use to determine if material X or method Y is OK.”
Another related/complementary alternative would be describing parameters or guidelines to be used to determine if something is OK, such as “the number of people who can live in a given dwelling depends on X, Y and Z” (where X, Y and Z are parameters/guidelines, not specific numbers or absolute conditions).
Both of these would need to be localized in both creation and application (rather than imported from afar as the building code is, or a legacy of colonial occupation as most of the zoning code is).
Scott: He thinks we will not get laws changed for exemptions, but instead we can get laws passed to make legal specifically what we want to do. Look at what the state is doing on composting toilets in the parks, and use that as an example of what we want to do.
Make sure we have a clearly defined image of what we want to get approved.
Question to ponder: How shall we define exactly what we are doing, and yet leave room for new ideas?