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Pervious Paving
Pervious driveway in Mill Valley.
On December 1, 2008 the Mill Valley City Council unanimously adopted a Green Building Ordinance that establishes green building requirements for residential and commercial development in the City.  “Buildings are responsible for almost 40% of total energy use, 12% of water use, and 40% of all raw materials used,” said Mayor Shawn Marshall. “By adopting this Ordinance, Mill Valley joins other municipalities in the Bay area and across the world in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and our overall ecological footprint.”  

The design, construction and operation of building and structures in the City of Mill Valley can have a significant impact on the City's environmental sustainability, including:                                              

  • Resource and material usage
  • Energy consumption and efficiency
  • Water consumption and efficiency
  • Waste management
  • Air quality
  • Health and welfare of residents, workers and visitors

For more information on building resources and usage, see Fast Facts About Your Home.

General Process

Applicants will be informed of the Green Building requirements during their planning or building application. During design review, applicants will be asked to provide a draft checklist identifying Green Building features intended to be incorporated into the project.  Prior to issuance of a building permit, the draft Green Building checklist must be verified as accurate by LEED-Accredited Professional (LEED-AP) for non-residential projects, and a certified GreenPoint rater for residential projects.

Prior to final inspection, the certifying rater must submit the final Green Building checklist and Compliance Form to the Building Department verifying that the proposed green building components were actually incorporated into the project construction. Modifications and/or substitutions made to the Green Building Checklist from time of planning application to construction must be verified and approved by the certified rater as well. 


Project Type (See Resolution and information below)

Minimum Requirements

Documentation & Verification

New Single Family, New Second Units, New Multi-Family, New Mixed Use, and Major Additions (> 50% increase in conditioned floor area)

50 points

Build it Green, Single Family GreenPoint Checklist or Multi-Family Checklist, and verification by GreenPoint Rater required

New Single Family (over 3,500 Sq. ft.) 

60 points

Build it Green, Single Family GreenPoint Checklist and verification by GreenPoint Rater required

Small New Second Units (<500 sq. ft.)

Encouraged to meet as many points as possible

Build it Green, Single Family GreenPoint Checklist (verification by GreenPoint rater optional)

Minor Additions (less than 50% increase in conditioned floor area)

Encouraged to meet as many points as possible

Build it Green Existing Homes GreenPoint Checklist   (verification by GreenPoint rater optional)

New Non-Residential projects and Non-Residential Rennovations

LEED Silver rating

LEED-New Construction Checklist and verification by LEED-Accredited Professional

New Minor Non-Residential Projects (up to 2,500 sq. ft.) and Minor Non-Residential Rennovations (up to  $0.5 million in cosntruction costs)

Encouraged to meet as many points as possible

LEED-New Construction Checklist (verification by LEED-Accredited Professional optional)

 Please note that the new Green Building requirements do not apply to any project ny project that received and maintains a valid planning approval or a building permit or which has submitted a complete planning application or building permit application prior to the effective date of this Chapter unless otherwise required as a condition of approval of a discretionary land use or zoning permit.

Cool Roof System
Cool roof system on a Mill Valley home.
Residential Projects

Summary Chart of applicable projects and requirements
All new residential units (single-family, duplex, second units or multi-family), and major additions (50% or greater increase in conditioned floor area) are required to achieve 50 points through Build it Green’s GreenPoint Rated program.  Large single family homes that equal or exceed 3,500 square feet are required to achieve 60 points.  Minor additions (less than 50% of conditioned floor area) are also required to submit a GreenPoint checklist but hiring a certified Green Point Rater is optional. 

Solar Panel ground mount 150.jpg

Funding to install ground-
based solar panels to
operate the Public Safety
ng has been approved.

Commercial/Non-Residential Projects 

Summary Chart of applicable projects and requirements.  All new commercial/non-residential 
development over 2,500 square feet and all commercial renovation over $0.5 million, including City Facilities must achieve a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-Silver rating.  Those projects under the qualifying thresholds are also required to submit a LEED checklist but hiring a certified LEED-AP is optional.


Residential projects that exceeding green building requirements and achieve at least one hundred (100) points, and non-residential projects that achieve at least a LEED "Platinum" rating shall receive the following:

  • Provision of a plaque certifying the building as meeting the City's "Emerald" Green Building Standards;
  • Provision of a City Green Building Logo for placement on construction and sales signage; and
  • Listing on the City's website for a period of time, as determined by the Director of Planning and Building.

 On-Line Resources

Last updated: 7/15/2015 4:48:01 PM