Appendix 1.3
Sustainability Guidelines


1.3.010    Purpose

1.3.020    Applicability

1.3.030    What Is Sustainability?

1.3.040    Project Siting

1.3.050    Modes of Transportation

1.3.060    Economic Sustainability

1.3.070    Urban Agriculture

1.3.080    Water Resource and Conservation

1.3.090    Energy and Materials

1.3.100    Stormwater Management, Grading and Drainage

1.3.110    Watershed Restoration

1.3.120    Solid Waste Management

1.3.010 Purpose

The purpose of the sustainability guidelines is to provide principles of sustainability and guidelines to promote sustainability to encourage and direct development in a manner that is sustainable in the City. Links to the sections of the Zoning Code and other City documents are inserted that provide additional information and standards.

These sustainable principles and practices are intended to inform applicants, planners, architects, landscape architects, engineers and construction managers about sustainable site planning, design and construction practices that encompass long term economic, social and environmental considerations in Flagstaff. By following the standards provided in the Zoning Code and the supplementary guidelines that accompany them into the design and construction process, a commitment to building a healthy and sustainable future for Flagstaff can be demonstrated.

In addition to pursuing a general culture of sustainability, compliance with these principles and guidelines can help ensure that sustainable goals specific to community needs are met. By accomplishing these goals, the community can establish itself as a leader in sustainable development.

1.3.020 Applicability

The guidelines found within this Division apply to all development within the City. Applicants should consider following these guidelines to help create a more sustainable community.

1.3.030 What Is Sustainability?

Sustainability is living and managing activities in a manner that balances social, economic and environmental considerations to meet Flagstaff’s current needs and those of future generations. A sustainable Flagstaff is a community where the social well-being of current and future citizens is supported by a vibrant economy and a self-renewing, healthy environment.

The Zoning Code plays an integral role in addressing community sustainability by addressing energy conservation, climate change and adaptation, renewable energy production, community health, and food production. Sustainability supports the development of attractive, prosperous and healthy communities. The core values of sustainability include:

A.    Consideration of long-term impacts upon future generations;

B.    The prudent use of resources; and

C.    Understand resource limitations and use to prevent overuse and serious degradation and loss of productive capacity.

1.3.040 Project Siting

A.    Principle. Throughout the design of a new development, applicants should evaluate the development’s location, site layout, and programming to determine short- and long-term impacts on the community’s sustainability.

Project siting has the greatest impact on how effectively the other sustainability principles can be addressed. Poor siting of a development can detrimentally impact the potential to harvest solar energy, create a less automobile dependent environment, and address economic and agricultural sustainability. This section provides elements that should be addressed in order for the other sustainability principles to be most effective. See Division 10-30.60, Site Planning Design Standards, and Division 10-50.90, Resource Protection Standards, for methodologies and submittal requirements for site analysis.

B.    General Guidelines. The following properties should be considered during all phases of design to produce a development that is beneficial to the community in the short and long term. A development site should be planned and designed to address the following key elements:

1.    The absence of or the ability to buffer sensitive environmental zones, such as floodplains, critical habitats or forest resources, from the impacts of development;

2.    The presence of an infill opportunity or the ability to be located on a previously developed site;

3.    The presence of existing or planned transit services;

4.    The presence of existing or planned neighborhood amenities and services;

5.    The location of everyday goods and services relative to the development’s use and needs;

6.    The ability to reinforce and fill in an incomplete urban development pattern;

7.    The ability to utilize on-site winds to minimize or eliminate needs for mechanical cooling and ventilation; and

8.    The potential to access Flagstaff’s average of 321 days of solar access.

C.    Resources.

1.    Division 10-30.60, Site Planning Design Standards.

2.    Division 10-50.90, Resource Protection Standards.

3.    City of Flagstaff General Plan.

4.    Appendix 1.1, Design Guidelines.

1.3.050 Modes of Transportation

A.    Principle. Where feasible, dependence on the automobile should be reduced by creating neighborhoods that provide a diverse choice of transportation modes. Providing a mix of transportation modes allows for greater accessibility for a diverse range of the population who does not or may not have access to an automobile.

B.    General Guidelines. The diversity and mix of transportation modes as well as the intent of the transportation networks may vary between walkable urban environments and drivable suburban environments but nonetheless the following key elements should be addressed:

1.    The creation or enhancement of walkable environments within the development;

2.    The ability to connect to existing or planned transportation networks to reduce the need for travel by private vehicle; and

3.    The provision of a mix and hierarchy of transportation options to amenities outside the development, including:

a.    Transit service;

b.    Bicycle facilities;

c.    Sidewalks;

d.    Multi-use trails; and

e.    Vehicular thoroughfares.

C.    Resources.

1.    Division 10-30.60, Site Planning Design Standards.

2.    Section 10-50.80.050, Bicycle Parking.

3.    Section 10-50.80.060, Parking Adjustments.

4.    Chapter 10-60, Specific to Thoroughfares.

5.    Appendix 1.1, Design Guidelines.

1.3.060 Economic Sustainability

A.    Principle. In order to help maintain the economic sustainability of Flagstaff, new developments in Flagstaff should provide a diverse mix of nonresidential uses and a range of housing options within compact walkable environments.

B.    General Guidelines. The following key elements should be addressed in all new developments, when applicable:

1.    The presence of a mix of commercial, civic and residential uses within a neighborhood and across the City allows an area to change over time and provides a diverse employment/shopping and tax base for the City;

2.    The presence of industrial uses or land zoned for industrial uses, where appropriate, should be maintained to provide areas for manufacturing and production jobs;

3.    The ability to site, design, and construct buildings to take advantage of Flagstaff’s climate to reduce energy usage and cost, providing long term economic sustainability as energy prices fluctuate;

4.    The ability to provide a mix of housing types can provide a more diverse set of housing options at a more diverse range of rents and price points for residents of Flagstaff; and

5.    The ability to build in a more compact manner to reduce the initial and long-term transportation and public infrastructure costs, providing additional opportunities for economic stability for the City.

C.    Resources.

1.    Division 10-30.20, Affordable Housing Incentives.

2.    Division 10-40.40, Transect Zones.

3.    Division 10-50.110, Specific to Building Types.

1.3.070 Urban Agriculture

A.    Principle. In order to help maintain food production and security in Flagstaff, agricultural uses are allowed within the City. This Zoning Code provides opportunities for urban agriculture by allowing:

1.    Food production in industrial and commercial zones;

2.    Community gardens in civic spaces and neighborhoods;

3.    Edible landscaping as part of range of vegetation allowed within the required landscaping for new developments; and

4.    Urban agriculture within designated green spaces and parks.

B.    Resources.

1.    Chapter 10-40, Specific to Zones.

2.    Chapter 10-70, Specific to Civic Spaces.

3.    Division 10-50.60, Landscaping Standards.

1.3.080 Water Resource and Conservation

A.    Principle. The future of Flagstaff is dependent on access to long-term clean water resources. Water resources should therefore be conserved to protect the environment and to maintain adequate supplies of water for future generations. A long term water source is integral to the economic vitality and social health of the community. Water conservation measures should be a visible component of developments to promote water resource conservation and build awareness of the precious nature of water. Water conservation measures include:

1.    The use of reclaimed water;

2.    Active and passive harvesting of rain water; and

3.    Collecting of greywater for nonpotable uses.

B.    General Guidelines.

1.    Where feasible prior to development, applicants should provide a water balance analysis that includes all water demands at build-out of the development. The City can then evaluate whether an adequate supply exists to accommodate the proposed new projected build-out water demands. In all residential developments, this balance would assume year-round residence for calculation purposes. This may be replaced by a water adequacy study.

2.    Applicants should identify and implement water conservation measures on their development that will reduce the water demands created by the development. Example measures could include the use of reclaimed water and the installation and use of rainwater capture and reuse (greywater) devices for all nonpotable applications to the maximum extent feasible.

3.    Use of potable water for irrigation of private lawns is not encouraged.

C.    Resources.

1.    City of Flagstaff amendments.

2.    City of Flagstaff Energy Code.

3.    State of Arizona water conservation measures.

4.    Division 10-50.90, Resource Protection Standards.

5.    Division 10-50.60, Landscaping Standards.

1.3.090 Energy and Materials

A.    Principle. New structures, renovated buildings, and new infrastructure facilities should be designed to minimize energy consumption and maximize renewable energy generation in order to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, provide cost savings and promote the conservation of natural resources. To create a more sustainable Flagstaff, the renovation of existing buildings or the construction of new buildings will require the efficient use of resources. Two main areas that can readily be addressed are the materials used to construct buildings and the energy used daily within them. The guidelines provided below provide guidance on design considerations that can make a building more sustainable.

B.    General Guidelines.

1.    Commercial and residential developments consisting of four or more units should develop covenants, conditions and restrictions relating to energy efficient practices and fixtures to ensure the development’s energy efficiency throughout its life.

2.    All designs for commercial dwellings should utilize available solar, wind, geothermal or other renewable energy sources using approved devices to the maximum extent feasible.

3.    Natural on-site wind patterns should be evaluated and utilized in all building designs to minimize or eliminate mechanical cooling and ventilation needs.

4.    New buildings should maximize the use of natural, ambient light to reduce the use of energy for lighting. Applicants should demonstrate optimization of natural lighting through the submission of an architectural lighting plan submitted to the Director.

5.    Green roofs or other roofs specifically designed to absorb heat from the sun may be utilized as approved by the Director.

6.    Heating of water for domestic, non-cooking, or pools usage should be accomplished using a heating strategy that includes the use of solar water heating technology unless denied by any other division.

C.    Architects, engineers, builders and applicants should acquire as many local resources for building materials as possible and minimize the embodied energy in building materials. Materials that are easily salvaged and recycled and that require minimal mineral extraction and production should be selected for construction.

D.    Mechanical Heating and Cooling Guidelines.

1.    New structures greater than 2,000 square feet in size should be designed to reduce the cooling load to a specification of 4.2 kilowatts per 1,000 square feet.

2.    Developments that feature medium- to high-density housing, such as hotel complexes, apartments and mixed-use commercial buildings, should utilize centralized cooling systems in place of distributed units to maximize efficiency unless the applicant can demonstrate that distributed units can achieve long-term efficiency gains.

3.    Ventilation intake should be paired with a heat recovery ventilation unit to recover the thermal energy present in exhaust air and reduce conditioning requirements for incoming air.

4.    All air-conditioned spaces should be outfitted with appropriate window technology. Windows should be double-paned, well-sealed and operable, with nonconductive frames, and low thermal emissive coatings.

E.    Resources.

1.    Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Resolution 2010-16.

2.    2006 International Energy Conservation Code IECC Chapter 5 for Commercial Air Conditioning.

3.    Wildland Urban Interface Code (WUI).

4.    Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

5.    Division 10-30.60, Site Planning Design Standards.

6.    Section 10-40.60.040, Accessory Wind Energy Systems.

7.    Appendix 1.1, Design Guidelines.

1.3.100 Stormwater Management, Grading and Drainage

A.    Principle. Stormwater management provides many benefits to Flagstaff in the form of preserving existing drainage channels, preventing excessive erosion, flood prevention, improving runoff water quality, protecting clean water resources and recharging of ground water. These guidelines work with the Section 1.3.030 (Water Resource and Conservation) and Section 1.3.060 (Watershed Restoration) to help ensure a clean and adequate water supply.

B.    General Guidelines.

1.    All developments not otherwise required to, should comply with City Ordinance No. 2009-07 “Low Impact Development (LID) Amendments to the City of Flagstaff Stormwater Management Design Manual.

2.    A licensed professional engineer or licensed landscape architect should prepare a full set of construction drawings including grading, drainage, utility locations, re-vegetation and sedimentation and erosion control plans for new construction.

3.    Cut and fill quantities should be balanced on-site to the maximum extent feasible.

4.    All buildings should be designed with foundation drains and grades sloping away from buildings at a minimum of five percent in areas where high groundwater levels exist, or sloped away from building foundations for a minimum of 10 feet. Runoff from impervious surfaces should flow across pervious surfaces before discharging to the public drainage system, to the maximum extent feasible.

C.    Grading Guidelines.

1.    Extent of grading and site disturbance should be limited to the 30 feet immediately adjacent to approved improvements.

2.    Developments should avoid the compaction of native soil.

3.    Grading designs should utilize natural and/or curvilinear shapes rather than straight and angular solutions unless required for safety or the prevention of flooding.

4.    No building or development of infrastructure within 100 feet (measured by vertical elevation) of a ridgeline should be permitted on sites over 10 percent in average grade that are not previously developed.

5.    Topsoil should be stockpiled in a designated location prior to construction and used for required on-site landscaping. All applicable City, State, and Federal requirements for soil stockpiling shall be followed.

D.    Drainage Guidelines.

1.    Drainage from non-vegetated roofs and other elevated impervious surfaces should be channeled to rainwater harvesting equipment or landscaped areas such as earthworks or rain-gardens.

2.    Grass, mulch, gravel, or other local natural materials should be placed under the drip line of non-guttered roofs to prevent soil erosion and to increase ground absorption.

3.    Gutters, downspouts, and overflows should be used to direct drainage not captured by rainwater harvesting equipment away from foundations and paved surfaces, into natural drainage systems such as crushed rock beds, mulch beds or naturalized swales located at a minimum of 10 feet from the building foundation.

4.    Light and heavy industrial impervious parking surfaces over 1,800 square feet should include an oil separator or other surface pollution attenuation mechanism such as a natural infiltration system to treat the runoff prior to discharge to the public drainage system.

E.    Resources.

1.    City of Flagstaff’s Low Impact Development Guidance Manual for Site Design and Implementation.

2.    City of Flagstaff Stormwater Management Design Manual.

3.    Section 10-30.70.040, Project Siting.

4.    Division 10-50.90, Resource Protection Standards.

5.    Division 10-50.60, Landscaping Standards.

6.    International Building Code (IBC).

7.    International Residential Code (IRC).

1.3.110 Watershed Restoration

A.    Intent. Watershed restoration provides additional opportunities to provide a clean and adequate supply of water resources. In addition, watershed restoration provides the ecological benefit of providing additional habitat for local flora and fauna. These guidelines work with Section 1.3.080, Water Resource and Conservation, and Section 1.3.100, Stormwater Management, Grading and Drainage, to help ensure a clean and adequate water supply.

B.    General Guidelines.

1.    Landscape plans should minimize the disturbance and maximize the preservation of existing natural landscapes and wildlife areas by providing a 300-foot buffer around all significant habitat areas. The term “significant habitat areas” includes areas designated as habitat for species listed as endangered under state or federal law, patches of natural vegetation at least 150 acres in size, or habitat flagged for conservation under an ecological ordinance.

2.    Pre-existing, existing and anticipated post development conditions need to be documented prior to construction to identify restoration goals for the watershed.

3.    Protection buffer widths should be no less than 20 feet from the centerline of washes.

4.    Riparian buffers disturbed during construction should be vegetated to pre-construction conditions with native plants, in areas including:

a.    The 100-year floodplain;

b.    All steep slopes (greater than 25 percent); and

c.    Any adjacent delineated wetland or critical habitat.

5.    Plantings should replace invasive species with indigenous flora.

6.    Applicants are required to develop a long-term (25-year) operation and maintenance plan for the watershed.

C.    Resources.

1.    City of Flagstaff Low Impact Development Guidance Manual for Site Design and Implementation.

2.    Section 10-30.70.040, Project Siting.

3.    Division 10-50.90, Resource Protection Standards.

1.3.120 Solid Waste Management

A.    Intent. Part of a sustainable society involves the efficient use of resources. An easy way to more efficiently use resources is to reduce consumption, reuse or recycle materials and compost biodegradable materials. Only those items that cannot be reused, recycled or composted should be transported to a processing facility. The following guidelines are intended to provide guidance on:

1.    Reducing material consumption;

2.    Reusing and recycling materials (on-site to the maximum extent feasible);

3.    Composting biodegradable materials; and

4.    Transporting excess solid waste to processing facilities.

B.    General Guidelines.

1.    Applicants with commercial or institutional uses are required to estimate volumes of waste generation for the proposed development, including estimations of anticipated seasonal fluxes, based on known quantities or comparable developments in the area and submitted to the Director. The estimation provided should be used as a baseline for solid waste generation and to develop an overall reduction goal over the course of first 10 years of operation.

2.    Applicants for commercial and residential structures containing three or more units are required to designate an accessible area for the separation and storage of recyclables, landfill waste and compostable materials. Areas should be well lit for safety and clearly labeled.

C.    Construction Waste Guidelines.

1.    Applicants should submit a construction waste management program for all developments to include a description of the following actions and items:

a.    Designate a specific area on the construction site where recyclable materials will be sorted;

b.    Contractors should check with local waste disposal agencies to determine whether recycling services are available for construction waste materials, including but not limited to cardboard, metals, concrete, asphalt, land clearing debris, clean dimensional wood, glass, plastic, gypsum board, carpet and insulation materials;

c.    Contractors should investigate and utilize any opportunity for salvage of waste materials that can be donated to regional charitable organizations; and

d.    No wood waste should go to landfills.

2.    Contractors should clean up all trash and debris on the construction site at the end of each day.

3.    A minimum of 50 percent, calculated by weight or by volume, of construction, demolition, land clearing, and non-hazardous wastes generated through construction or infrastructure development of a site should be recycled, reused or salvaged.

4.    Lightweight materials, packaging and other items should be covered, weighted down or otherwise secured to prevent wind from blowing such materials off the construction site.

5.    Dirt, mud or debris resulting from activity on each construction site should be promptly removed from roads, open spaces and driveways and should not leave the construction site.

6.    The resulting waste stream from clearing and grubbing should be source separated and composted, and may not enter the general solid waste stream.

D.    Resources.

1.    City of Flagstaff Building Code.

2.    City of Flagstaff Solid Waste Code, City Code Chapter 7-04.