Model Municipal Ordinances

The Model Municipal Ordinance project aims to create best practices for municipal ordinances—covering green buildings, wind, and solar resources—which avoid the drafting problems and legal pitfalls that often plague other ordinances.

Current municipal ordinances vary widely in content and coverage and many municipalities cannot devote sufficient resources to form fully developed green building, wind and solar ordinances. Yet, municipalities have the ability to control many aspects of  their local land siting. Columbia’s model ordinances offer a framework that can enable local governments to implement and enforce the effective and efficient use of renewable energy resources.  These model ordinances were derived from the best aspects of existing municipal ordinances.  They are designed with New York municipalities in mind, but are general enough that with minor revisions, they can be readily adopted by municipalities in other states.

The Sabin Center has drafted model ordinances for green buildings, commercial wind, and residential solar.

Related project: Municipal Law Databases