- Associated Press - Friday, October 17, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A San Francisco supervisor wants to require new buildings in the city to have solar panels, gardens or both on their roofs, a newspaper reported.

Supervisor David Chiu plans to introduce a resolution next week that would mandate the green additions, though he said he understands they won’t always be feasible, the San Francisco Chronicle reported (https://bit.ly/1sXjXHo ).

Some towers going up downtown have limited roof space, and some single-family homes are not well-suited for solar panels.

But Chiu said his plan will work for commercial buildings.

“If you ever go to the top of a tall building in San Francisco and look down, you see the potential for sustainability on every single roof in the city,” Chiu told the Chronicle.

The proposal - called Solar Vision 2020 - would seek to roughly double the amount of solar electricity generated in the city to 50 megawatts in 2020.

It would also make a city program that provides money to defray the cost of solar panel installations permanent. The program is currently set to expire in 2018.

Solar Vision 2020, additionally, would set a target for installing solar panels on rental housing in the city, including existing apartment buildings.

“Many landlords have told me that if we just had the right financing mechanisms, they’d be interested in doing this,” Chiu said.

Tim Colen, director of the urban development group, Housing Action Coalition, said the program could increase construction costs at a time when housing prices are already skyrocketing.

“I can’t argue with what David’s saying - we have to drastically reduce our carbon footprint,” Colen said. “But how do we do this fairly in a way that doesn’t include unpleasant, expensive surprises?”

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Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, https://www.sfgate.com

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