In 2014, the Sunnyvale City Council adopted an update to the green building program to maintain leadership in the sustainable development field. One aspect of the program was to continue to allow an additional 10% floor area ratio (FAR) for projects in Moffett Park that go above and beyond the established standards in the program. In order to gain the additional 10% FAR beyond what the zoning code and Moffett Park Specific Plan allows, a project would require approval of a Moffett Park Special Development Permit from the Council, and incorporation of additional green/sustainable development features.
The following list, while not proscriptive, provides developers and decision-makers with a list of potential measures to consider for the 10% additional FAR:
- Project meets LEED Platinum level.
- Project exceeds 75 LEED points (a minimum of 60 points is the current LEED Gold standard) AND incorporates other sustainable features.
- Reduce the number of parking spaces by at least 5% (in order to given partial credit for attaining the additional FAR, 10% to receive full credit) through the use of unbundled parking, shared parking, parking “cash-out for not driving to work or other comparable measures.
- Provide sustainable elements that may not be recognized by LEED (or exceeds LEED standards for which additional points aren’t available), such as net zero energy, zero waste, or meeting specific measures from the Sunnyvale Climate Action Plan.
- Committing to a higher trip reduction goal than required by code through a more robust and aggressive transportation demand management program (TDM) or transportation management association.
- Provide a sustainable-type community benefit, such as funding an urban forestry program, providing a community garden on or off the project site, or funding and/or building a public park, recreation or other City facility.
- Contribute funds beyond established City fees for other City infrastructure, such as extending the reclaimed water line in the City, increasing sewer capacity in underserved areas, or adding bike lanes or pedestrian paths.
- Contribute funds to enhance or establish a transit facility or alternative transportation program to reduce vehicle trips such as a shuttle bus, bikeshare or free carshare membership. This can include GreenTRIP certification.
- Other items found acceptable by the Council.
This list is not meant to be all-inclusive, but is meant as a starting point to be used by developers in creating their projects and by decision-makers in reviewing projects. It is expected this list will be revised over time. The list is also not meant to provide absolute requirements. For example, if a project meets 75 LEED points it will not necessarily guarantee approval for additional 10% FAR if it is not shown to attain the objectives and purposes of the MPSP or the project does not substantially conform with the Moffett Park Design Guidelines set forth in Chapter Six of the MPSP. It is up to the developer to come up with a program to attain the additional 10%, and it is in Council’s discretion whether the elements used warrant the additional development potential.
For additional information on the Green Building Program contact Andy Miner, Principal Planner at email@example.com or 408-730-7707.