Morro Bay Institutes Green Building
To encourage builders to build "green," the City of Morro Bay is instituting a "Green Building Incentive Program." The City has place a high priority on stewardship of its natural resources, as well as public health and safety. That extends not only to preserving environmentally critical areas and habitats, but also constructing buildings with a reduced environmental footprint.
The new program offers builders rebates on building and plan check fees and on expedited building permit processing. Fee rebates are calculated at varying percentages based upon certification levels of green building performance (LEED and GreenPoint Rated). The program also includes "Optional Sustainability Incentives" for specific sustainable design measures, such as exceeding Title 24 standards, renewable energy, graywater systems, or green roofs.
"The City has taken a supportive role, encouraging sustainability in new construction and rehabilitation projects by providing incentives and promoting existing County, State, and Federal programs," notes Christing Rogers, Housing Programs Coordinator. "The City encourages you to 'Discover your better nature.' During these challenging economic times, we really want to be that bridge for the community in utilizing every available resource to achieve a sustainable Morro Bay."
For more information, the Program Guidelines and Application are available for download on the City's website.
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Laser Light Show Debuts to Mixed Reactions -
Come Again Next Year?
Morro Bay - Except for the finale, the July 4th celebration here was much the same as previous years. Local businesses reported traffic through their stores to be similar to last year's. Considering the economy, even a slight downturn would have been understandable.
In a break with tradition, the Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce opted to substitute a laser light show in place of fireworks. Some estimates set at 8,000 the number of people gathered in Tidelands Park for the 9:00pm show. While the laser effects seemed to have been enjoyed by the majority in attendance, many left early.
David Miller, who opted to come to Morro Bay from Pismo Beach, stayed for the entire event. "I'd never seen a laser light show and thought it might be interesting. It was great! My 73-year-old mother came with me and she got into the lights, the dancing, and even the cheering." Asked if he would come back next year, he added, "Absolutely! Sign me up. Mom too, I guess."
One woman who wasn't as enthusiastic, Janet Grey of Fresno, said she didn't mind that the show wasn't as dramatic as she had expected. "This is so much better for the environment and for all the animals. We even brought our dog on this trip, something we've never been able to do in the past. We're going to stick around for a few days." Will she be back? "Yes, we will. This was a great party, even without fireworks."
For the past three years, the fireworks display has been obscured by thick fog. Mother Nature may have been playing tricks with Morro Bay, providing absolutely no fog this time around. A laser light show works better with something bounce off. Because of the sparkling, clear skies, people parked near the Rock saw virtually nothing. That was a big disappointment, of course.
Perhaps the problems of this year's display can lead to solutions for next July. Meanwhile, support the Chamber's attempt at bringing a cleaner, new way of celebrating our country by donating to their July 4th fund.