David Epstein New ordinance :

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Obviously not much thought went into the new demolition ordinance. Every permit should be viewed on a case-by-case basis. Historic properties should be held to a higher standard, nonhistoric should not.

Instead of seeing an "old" structure as a problem, view it as a resource. By learning to evaluate a structure in terms of its hidden value, educated decisions can be made about how to use a building's resources. There are salvageable elements in virtually every building. Come on City Council; if you want to use green practices, it all starts at the demo process.

Old buildings are constantly being remodeled or torn down to make room for new ones. Because time is a critical element on many projects, the removal of a building is usually done as quickly as possible. The standard practice of demolition involves smashing a structure so the pieces can be quickly and easily taken to the landfill. Although this saves time, there are considerable costs in terms of pollution, wasted resources and landfill space.

Reusing existing buildings and materials reclaims resources and significantly cuts waste. Deconstruction, the systematic dismantling of a structure, can be used in various degrees to salvage usable materials. This can range from reuse of an entire structure or foundation, to select assemblies and systems, to the careful removal of specific materials or items.

Let's set this ordinance straight, offer incentives to developers, builders and homeowners to deconstruct and make it mandatory that a minimum 20 percent of a demolition be deconstruction/recycle. Other communities do this, why shouldn't we?

David Epstein

Steamboat Springs

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