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Several parking spaces at the CVS/Big Lots shopping center on Mendocino Avenue in Santa Rosa are for specific cars. Photo courtesy of a Road Warrior reader.

Sorry, but this parking space is reserved for “green” cars. And more are coming.

When the CVS drugstore at Mendocino Avenue and Steele Lane in Santa Rosa was recently remodeled and its parking lot spruced up, several parking spots were reserved for low pollution and fuel efficient vehicles.

Santa Rosa city officials said CVS voluntarily set aside the parking spots to boost its green image. But as of Jan. 1, state law now requires such reserved spots as well as bicycle parking at new commercial buildings in an effort to improve energy efficiency, not only the buildings themselves but what customers and employees drive.

Such new developments will have to mark 10 percent of their parking spaces for use by low emitting, fuel efficient, car pool or van pool vehicles, said Erin Morris, a senior planner with the city.

How about enforcement?

“There is no enforcement mechanism. You can’t get a ticket for it,” said Michael Whitaker, the city’s chief building official.

As for what vehicles qualify, the city officials said none are specifically listed other than being a “clean air vehicle.”

To read the state’s green building code, CLICK HERE.

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