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RAQC’s Local Government Resource Library

The RAQC is committed to helping local governments design and implement programs and policies that help communities improve air quality. To aid in this effort, the RAQC has compiled a reference library with example ordinances, toolkits, and other materials.  For more information or assistance, please contact RAQC staff.

Example Ordinances and Toolkits


(use drop down to see list of examples)


(use arrows to scroll example summaries)

The American Transportation Research Institute developed an Idling Compendium with resources on idling and heavy-duty vehicles. This includes a list of anti-idling regulations in major cities across the United States.

Collaboration between federal, state and local governments, county school districts, regional air quality planners, and nonprofits with the goal to reduce air pollution exposure in Colorado schools.  The online resource addresses the specific challenges, regulations, and needs for various vehicle types in Colorado. Sample policies are available under the “Get Involved” tab.

Database of known regulations, ordinances, and other rules related to engine idling of on-road vehicles, including long-haul trucks and school buses to passenger cars and motorcycles.

House Bill 11-1275 (Colorado) allows communities in Colorado to limit idling to 5 minutes within a 60-minute period for large, commercial diesel vehicles (14,000 lbs+) with certain exemptions. A list of communities in Colorado that have established standards is available here.

Building code requirements for  new construction to include electric vehicle charging capabilities.

Adopts the 2018 National Electrical Code by reference and includes requirements for EV charging capabilities in new construction, including residential.

Newly constructed single family home garages are required to be equipped to receive electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Newly constructed multi-family homes and commercial buildings are required to have a certain percentage of their required parking spots be electric vehicle parking spaces.

1 & 2- Newly constructed family homes and townhouses are required to accommodate electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Multifamily units with 17+ dwelling units need to have 3%, but no less than one, of the total provided parking spaces equipped with an electric vehicle charges and be available for use by all residents.

Each multi-family use shall provide a minimum of one parking space dedicated to electric vehicles for every 25 parking spaces provided on-site.

To make sense of existing codes and simplify the options for your community, SWEEP has created a short EV-Ready Building Code Primer, covering residential and commercial building codes and samples of municipal ordinances.

Adopts the 2018 National Electrical Code by reference and includes requirements for EV charging capabilities in new construction, including residential.

Implementation of programs that would reduce the number of individuals commuting to work in single occupancy vehicles during peak commuting hours.

Way to Go is a regional partnership between the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) and a dedicated group of Transportation Management Associations (TMAs) who work together to reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality, and make life better for the region’s residents.
Offers solutions to employers, free of charge, to help commuters throughout the Denver metro area find progressive and friendly commute options.

Mobility Lab provides tools that can be used to evaluate specific worksite or area-wide transportation demand management programs for cost effectiveness.

Washington passed the Commute Trip Reduction Law in 1991 which requires certain local governments to develop and implement plans to reduce single-occupant vehicle commute trips. Seattle’s ordinance sets minimum guidelines for how employers complete their required “good faith effort” and comply with the law. Certain employers must have an “Employee Transportation Coordinator,” and conduct a commuter survey once every two years, among other requirements. 

Develop Commute Trip Reduction programs, which encourage more efficient commute travel. These programs provide encouragement, incentives and support for commuters to use of alternative modes (such as walking, cycling, ridesharing, public transit and telework), alternative work hours, and other efficient transportation options.

Maricopa County established a program requiring major employers and schools to reduce single occupant vehicle (SOV) trips and/or miles traveled to the work site by 10 percent each year for a total of five years, and then five percent for three additional years, or until a 60 percent rate of SOV travel is reached. Progress is tracked through an annual commute survey of employer/school sites. Survey results are used to develop an annual travel reduction plan that commits the employer/school to implementing and documenting various strategies to reduce SOV trips or miles

The 2020 City of Boulder Energy Conservation Code includes minimum energy conservation requirements for new commercial and residential buildings, including heating and ventilating, lighting, water heating, and power usage for appliances and building systems.

The City of Denver implemented a green building ordinance that applies to new buildings, roof permits for existing buildings, and additions, all of buildings 25,000 square feet or larger. These projects must do a “cool roof” and one other compliance option, such as the provision of green space, energy conservation, building certifications (e.g., LEED), or payment into a green building fund. There are partial exemptions for certain residential buildings. 

This resolution passed in 2006, requires new city-owned buildings of 5,000 square feet or more to be designed to LEED Gold certification, and existing buildings are to use the LEED standard as a guide for sustainable operation and maintenance.

Going Beyond Code Guide is designed to help state and local governments design and implement successful “beyond code” programs for new commercial and residential buildings. The goal is to help states and localities establish voluntary or mandatory programs that go well beyond traditional minimum code requirements for new buildings. The guide addresses keys to successful adoption and implementation and discusses the primary areas that are typically included in beyond code or green building programs, including energy efficiency materials and resource conservation, water efficiency, indoor environmental quality, and site development and land use.

The City of Lakewood adopted the International Energy Conservation Code.

An introduction to building standards and certification systems, this resource describes the origin of the green building movement, a general description of standards and certifications, and lists of product and building certifications.

The Model Municipal Ordinance project includes best practices for municipal ordinances regarding Green Building, as well as wind and solar resources, while avoiding” drafting problems and legal pitfalls”. Included is  “a framework that can enable local governments to implement and enforce the effective and efficient use of renewable energy resources”.

Best Operational Practices and public bid processes to encourage the use of cleaner engines in construction equipment.

Equipment being used in construction projects must be powered by engines that meet Tier 4 specifications and vehicle idling is limited to 5 consecutive minutes.

Requires the use of cleaner equipment at sites of state of federally funded for $5 million or more.

Programs that reduce emissions from lawn and garden sources through replacing gas and diesel fueled equipment with electric alternatives.

American Green Zone Alliance is a certification program focused on transitioning entities towards using all low-noise zero-emission battery-electric
equipment and hand tools

The Maricopa County Air Quality Department (MCAQD) in partnership with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality created a lawn and garden equipment replacement program that provides up to $200 in vouchers towards the purchase of a new electric or battery powered lawn mower and one lawn and garden device when the old working gasoline powered equipment is recycled.

The RAQC operates a residential lawn and garden program which offers a voucher to individuals who choose to recycle and replace their gas-powered lawn mowers with rechargeable or corded electric lawn mowers.

The Clean Green Yard Machines Residential Rebate Program allows San Joaquin Valley residents to replace an old gas/diesel -powered lawn mower with a new electric lawn mower or purchase new electric powered landscape equipment. Residents must verify they recycled their old mower to receive rebate. They do not have to recycle other old equipment to receive rebates for other electric yard equipment. The rebate amount is based on the purchase price of the electric equipment.

Ordinances that require or incentivize the integration of solar energy into local development projects.

This briefing paper provides planners, public officials, and engaged citizens with an overview of three aspects of integrating solar energy into local development regulations—removing barriers, creating incentives, and enacting standards—and offers examples from communities across the country.

The Cumberland County Planning Department developed a model ordinance which provides a thorough review of all aspects of solar
energy systems that could be regulated for municipalities to adopt. This model is not intended to be adopted without municipality specific modification.

Lakewood’s zoning ordinances permit the use of solar energy systems – explicitly sanctioning the use of solar easements and define solar energy systems as permitted by right in commercial and light industrial districts.

The city’s land development code includes solar capability in a menu of options that planned unit developments may use to qualify for bonus density and earn points towards meeting green building requirements. The code also requires new developments in low/mixed density residential areas be solar ready.

This Model Sustainable Development Ordinance written by CR Planning for the state of Minnesota provides solar energy standards communities can incorporate into their land development regulations. It offers many ideas applicable to other states.

This report from NREL presents a baseline of municipal codification of certain clean energy-related policies across the United States as of January 1, 2016. This baseline serves as a means to gauge the extent to which municipalities are addressing these policies in their code.