Tomorrow at 2:30pm
Deconstruction – the safe, ecologically responsible way to conserve materials for reuse as well as the most popular choice for how structures should be removed – is losing to mechanical demolition. This is due to the takeover of an advisory group convened to promote deconstruction over demolition. We need residents to help by providing input and feedback to the Mayor, the Mayor’s policy analyst Matthew Robinson, and BPS Deconstruction Specialist Shawn Wood. Send email to these addresses:
Tell them this is about what is happening at the Deconstruction Advisory Group meetings, where a few builders do all they can to stop mandatory deconstruction, a measure that would prevent spread of deadly toxics and help put us back on top as a green city. The people have spoken: overwhelmingly residents prefer deconstruction-only, not mechanical demolition, and we want it yesterday.
Things have become so bad and so out of control that Vic Remmers of Everett Custom Homes told the room at the third meeting, May 13, that he wanted “$5000 – no, $7000” for each and every deconstruction from the City as an incentive. He also said “we,” meaning developers, would demolish at every opportunity instead of ever deconstructing if the Deconstruction Advisory Group tried to compel deconstruction. He’s not even part of the Advisory Group, he just came in and started controlling the discussion.
CALL TO ACTION – MAY 20, 2015
By Barbara Kerr, UNR Steering Committee’s Representative on the Deconstruction Advisory Group
As many of you know, UNR was asked to have a representative on the Deconstruction Advisory Group, headed by Shawn Wood from the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. The mayor’s directive for the group is to put together a plan for increasing deconstruction as an alternative to mechanical demolition. The group will present their plan at a City Council hearing on June 3.
DAG members include: Shawn Wood, Alisa Kane, and Madeline Kovacs from BPS; Mathew Robinson, Mayor’s office; Bryce Jacobsen, Metro;
At subsequent DAG meetings, Jeff Fish began attending and bringing developers, who, although not on the committee, have spoken freely.
As it stands now, the draft plan that BPS has presented to DAG includes a first phase in which deconstruction would be voluntary and entail financial incentives, which the developers who have attended DAG meetings have stated would have to be $5-7000 in order for them to deconstruct. They also stated that if society wants them to do something, society needs to pay them and that if deconstruction is made mandatory, there will be push-back.
In the proposed plan, Phase 1 would end after one year and mandatory deconstruction would begin to be phased in two years from now. In the meantime, with our demolition epidemic, great quantities of natural resources and embodied energy will be wasted, our carbon footprint will continue to soar, and many, many families will be involuntarily exposed to lead, asbestos, and other hazardous materials. Plus, taxpayers will be out a large, but as yet undetermined, amount of funds that could be used on deconstruction training and oversight and small business development.
Because the developers have stacked the meetings and because no matter how much our BPS planners like Shawn Wood want to do best by us and our natural environment they are subject to the power of the Home Builders Association, we need residents to come and speak freely as well.
Also, if you know builders/developers/contractors who deconstruct and support all it does for society without being paid, please let us know so we can support them.