Marshall fire victims fear Louisville’s green building code will prevent rebuilding


LOUISVILLE, Colo. — Sifting through what little remains of his Coal Creek home, Chris Fuller looks at the bigger picture.

“I’m preparing for the battle ahead,” said Fuller, who is underinsured and fears the city’s new NetZero green building codes will put a price tag on him. “It’s going to place, I think, a financial burden that can make the difference in whether some of us can afford to rebuild.”

On Tuesday night, the Louisville City Council is considering removing roadblocks involving setbacks and housing footprints, and Net Zero is the next debate.

“I believe no one should have to choose between an affordable home and an energy-efficient home,” said council member Kyle Brown.

Brown says the city is working with Xcel and other partners to cover some of the costs for the new codes that went into effect late last year.

In one public letterColorado Governor Jared Polis pledged he would support legislation to fund a “sustainable and resilient recovery for your community and others in the future.”

At this point, no funding has been secured, and Brown says he feels the urgency for answers.

“People already have to decide if they can stay or if they have to find somewhere else,” Brown said. “We want to keep them in Louisville.”

Meanwhile, Christian Dino, a Louisville architect and general contractor who lost his home in the fire, estimates the city’s Net Zero requirements could add up to $100,000 to a rebuild.

“I think my biggest concern right now is that the city has a program,” Dino said. “It looks like the city is trying to raise costs for homeowners where they can’t afford to rebuild so the city can buy the blocks for their own affordable housing projects.

Dino, Fuller and other neighbors are pushing to bring building codes back to 2018 standards for fire victims who are still considering their options.

“For those of us who have to rebuild, not because we choose to, but because we have to, I think it’s a practical thing to do,” Fuller said.

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