For many years, West Valley has promoted sustainable development through the City’s General Plan. In the General Plan, there are several references to reducing vehicle trips and emissions through encouraging transit use and active transportation like biking, as well as placing commercial services near the residents who need them.
Beginning in 2018, the City Council began efforts to further promote sustainable development. Since State code does not allow cities to require energy and water efficiency standards above what is required in the building code, the City decided to incentivize developers to build more sustainable development. After researching different approaches and talking with developers, the City developed the Residential Sustainability Zone (RS Zone). This zone incentivizes developers to build sustainable, single family homes by allowing smaller lots than would otherwise be allowed.
To achieve sustainable development, the RS zone requires the following by development agreement:
A solar power generation system that generates all of the electricity needs of the house
Insulation standards that far exceed building code requirements
High efficiency home heating and water heating
Energy Star rated appliances
An electric car charger to encourage electric vehicle use
WaterSense plumbing fixtures to reduce water use by at least 20%
Localscapes landscaping that uses 2/3 less water than an all grass yard