"Green" building projects in Ashland could receive discounts on fees and be approved faster than applications for traditional buildings, under an incentive program the city's planning department is creating.

"Green" building projects in Ashland could receive discounts on fees and be approved faster than applications for traditional buildings, under an incentive program the city's planning department is creating.

Planners will begin working on the green-building incentives project in late January and may suggest changing some city codes as early as the spring, said Bill Molnar, the city's community development director.

"There are certain code provisions that could be changed pretty easily that might make a big difference," Molnar said.

The City Council has asked the planning department to make Ashland's building codes friendlier to green projects. One of the council's goals is to create incentives for development that is energy-efficient, environmentally sound and supportive of a multi-modal transportation system.

City planners haven't yet determined what incentives they will suggest, but Molnar said he expects the city will offer some fee discounts, expedited processing and a building code that allows for the installation of new technologies, such as wind-turbine and rainwater-catchment systems.

— Ashland Daily Tidings