Green Subdivision Breaks Ground in Shady Cove

A Shady Cove developer has broken ground on Southern Oregon’s first all-“green” subdivision, a 45-lot development of energy-efficient and eco-friendly homes tentatively called Rogue Heights.

“It’s the right thing to do,” says Mike Milepsy, owner of Windermere/Trails End Real Estate. “I think it’s a plus from a marketing standpoint, and it also feels good to be doing the right thing.”

Milepsy broke ground on the first home in late April, just three weeks after Shady Cove City Council passed a resolution urging that all future construction in the fast-growing city be designed with energy-efficiency and environmental sustainability in mind.

“That played into my decision to do this,” Milepsy says of the city resolution. “I thought it was a good decision on the city’s part. It doesn’t restrict anybody, but it encourages people to do this. I’m following their lead.”

Milepsy says he became convinced in recent months, after reading about the explosion of green-built homes in Portland and Bend, that energy-efficient homes would be a smart business decision. But he also feels it is important for the future.

“The more reading I’ve done on the market in Portland and Bend, the more attractive it became to me as a developer and a realtor. But I also think it’s important. You’ve got to feel that way,” he says. “When I started reading about the cumulative effects of all the people doing this across the country, it really adds up. It’s something I’d like to pass on to my kids.

“A lot of people like myself, baby boomers, are in the market to buy homes, and we want to pass something on,” says the 57-year-old developer who has been selling real estate for 32 years. “It’s part of our legacy to be part of something like this.”

All of the lots in the new subdivision, located off Rogue River Drive at Bond Road, will be sold with deed restrictions requiring that the homes be Energy Star certified, though Milepsy is recommending that they be built according to the even more green-friendly Earth Advantage standards.

An Energy Star house is one that uses at least 15 percent less energy than a standard code-built house. Earth Advantage requires that houses be energy-efficient, but the program goes further by awarding points for such factors as indoor air quality, sustainable building materials, resource efficiency and wise water use.

The first home in the subdivision is being built to Earth Advantage standards, Milepsy says. The second home will exceed Earth Advantage minimum standards and include solar panels, he says.

In many ways, Rogue Heights will be a learning experience for Milepsy and his builder, Butch Silveira of Silveira Construction. Milepsy says they will keep close tabs on the extra costs of going green, to learn whether the extra benefits result in higher appraisals.
The homes will be built on 10,000-square-foot lots and are projected to sell for $350,000 to $450,000.

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