Adopt environmentally preferable covenant guidelines for new common interest communities addressing issues such as stormwater, greywater, native vegetation, growing food, clothes lines and renewable energy.
A bill in the 2014 MN Legislature establishes clear guidelines for the permitting of rooftop solar projects by Homeowners Association (HOA) boards, allowing HOAs to impose reasonable restrictions while at the same time removing barriers to solar energy. These guidelines and restrictions would apply to both solar PV and solar thermal projects, and would only cover homeowners responsible for their own roof.
Common interest communities are condominium associations, homeowner associations, housing cooperatives and the like. Cities can adopt guidelines governing the content of these homeowner covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&R) or other forms of deed restrictions to ensure that they allow, for example, installation of rain gardens, prairie grasses, clothes lines, and renewable energy technologies.
Guidelines allow native vegetation, raingardens and renewable energy installations.
Guidelines allow larger-scale food production areas.
Guideliness allow greywater reuse; dividing large houses into multi-family units.
Implementation details: City zoning code has design and performance standards that "are designed to prevent and eliminate those conditions which depreciate property values that cause blight or are detrimental to the environment" (Zoning Code 154.126-0). The code also has a section on solar panel requirements (154.394). We also have a dedication section of the code pertaining to Alternative Energy Systems (154.391)
Outcome measures/metrics: Through implementing these codes we have seen addition permits for solar panels as well as native plantings in many developments. Most recently our new Community Education Recreation Center has installed over 3 acres of native plantings in the front yard.
Implementation details: The city of Maplewood has a collection program for residents where city employees will remove cleared buckthorn that has been cleared and placed on the curbside for removal during certain times of the year. There are volunteer groups as well as hotlines organized by the Maplewood Nature Center and Ramsey county to report invasive species located within Maplewood. Rain garden information is available from the city as well as the Nature Center.
The Partners in Energy program rolling out in May 2015 will have an aspect that will engage residents by creating an energy challenge. This challenge will allow people to utilize resources to create change in the way energy is used at the resident level.
There are community gardens within Maplewood for residents located in Edgerton Park. This area allows for larger scale local food production.
Outcome measures/metrics: Link to Maplewood Rain Gardens:
Link to Maplewood Partners in Energy:
Link to Maplewood Community Gardens:
Implementation details: The City's Comprehensive Plan, Surface Water Management Plan, and Municipal Code guide development and stormwater management. Where feasible raingardens or infiltration basins are encouraged to meet requirements. The Environmental Quality Committee may recommend native vegetation and renewable energy systems.
Implementation details: All development in the city must adhere to the stormwater management standards and design criteria set forth in Section 27-27 of the municipal code. Maintenance agreements are required for private stormwater facilities. Section 24-270 allows for “laundry drying equipment” in residential areas. These are not specific to common interest communities.