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    City of Coon Rapids  


Background Information

County:   Anoka
Population:   61,500
GreenStep City category:   A

Full-time equivalent city staff (approx.):   225

Participating township, county, school:


GreenStep City resolution:   Click here to view the file.
GreenStep City status and date:   STEP 2 (06/23/2015)

GreenStep Coordinator

Colleen Sinclair
City staff
csinclair@coonrapidsmn.gov
763-767-6485

City web page relating to sustainability/GreenStep activities:
www.coonrapidsmn.gov/recycling


Best Practice Actions Underway and Completed

Completed actions are denoted by stars. Mouse over a star for its definition.





Buildings and Lighting   Buildings and Lighting

Efficient Existing Public Buildings
{ BP no. 1 }

Complete the Building Editor for each city-owned building; identify the person responsible for routinely entering data; enter current (at least once/90 days), consecutive monthly energy use data ongoing; also best to enter 12 consecutive months of historical energy use data.
Complete 1 Star criterion and enter 24 consecutive months of historical data; routinely validate newly entered data by looking at patterns/trends and inconsistencies; correct inaccurate entries and identify potential opportunities for energy savings.
Complete 1 and 2 Star criteria, routinely ID energy-related operations and maintenance issues and poorer performing buildings for follow-up action; routinely enter current and consecutive (monthly or quarterly as available) water use data ongoing.
Action 1: Enter building information into the Minnesota B3 Benchmarking database and routinely enter monthly energy use data for all city-owned buildings.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Implement changes in one poorer-performing building and summarize the actions taken: updating temperature, ventilation and lighting schedules and setbacks; installing building-wide computer and office equipment power management software; assigning responsibility for turning off manual lights and other shared equipment; assuring that routine HVAC maintenance schedules are thorough and implemented at appropriate intervals; revising janitorial schedules to day-time hours; adjusting janitorial responsibilities to include regular cleaning of sensors, lamps and HVAC vents; installing lower-flow faucet aerators, dish sprayers, and showerheads to reduce hot water use.
Complete 1 Star criterion for two buildings. Post the Print Screen of the Baseline tab for one of the buildings with the Energy gauge showing at least a 5% decrease in energy use compared to the baseline period [12 months immediately prior to implementing changes]. Continue fine-tuning operations and maintenance procedures and monitoring energy usage to identify opportunities for additional savings.
Complete 1 and 2 Star criteria for two buildings. Use B3 to report at least a 10% decrease in energy use compared to the baseline period.
Action 2: Make no/low cost indoor lighting and operational changes in city-owned/school buildings to reduce energy costs.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Report city buildings and schools, county and other government buildings, and which framework was used. For remodels, update the B3 Building Editor, as needed, and change the Baseline Time Period in the B3 Baseline Tab for that building so that it shows the 12-month period immediately prior to starting the remodeling. (See Implementation Tools for Frameworks and B3 instructions.) Report park buildings under best practice action 18.7
Complete 1 Star criteria for two buildings, or list the framework under which one building is certified or rated, and at what level. Use B3 to track reductions in energy usage after the work is completed. Post a Print Screen of the Baseline tab for one building showing the actual reduction in energy usage for a full year following completion of the major remodeling compared to the baseline period [12 months immediately prior to starting the remodeling].
Complete 1 and 2 Star criteria for two buildings. In addition, show that one of the remodeled buildings has met or been certified at gold-equivalent or better, and that the actual energy use of the building is less than or equal to the MN Sustainable Building 2030 Energy Standards for Years 2010-15 for Remodeling. Post a Print Screen of the Baseline tab for that building AND the number from the MN SB2030 table for that building type. (See Implementation Tools.) Report park buildings under best practice action 18.7
Action 5: Document that the new construction or major remodeling of a public building has met or qualifies under a green building or energy framework.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Efficient Existing Private Buildings
{ BP no. 2 }

Program activities include but are not limited to: information/education efforts via newsletters and the like; work with the local utility, local Community Action Program or others; program participation reports. Report a rebate program to promote purchases of WaterSense-rated appliances under action 2.5; report work with businesses under action 25.2; report broad sustainability campaigns that go beyond energy efficiency under action 24.4
One or more of: provide more in-depth energy use reports; explicitly focus on improved indoor air quality; report on number of households participating (e.g. took advantage of rebates, attended workshops, received home energy audit) and dollars or BTUs or therms saved; resident participation in the National Mayor's Challenge for Water Conservation.
Create a program and report on number of households participating (e.g. took advantage of rebates, attended workshops, received home energy audit) and dollars or BTUs or therms saved.
Action 1: Create or participate in a marketing/outreach program to promote/achieve residential energy/water use reduction and energy efficiency.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Action 4: Describe energy/water efficiency actions and other green building practices at businesses located within/nearby the city.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Summarize watering ordinance; provide education/information around lawn watering and home water conservation and rain barrels. Report conservation rate structures and dynamic user feedback under action 20.7, rain gutter disconnects from sewers under action 20.3
Report residential water use under 75 gal/capita/day; modify and adopt a model landscaping ordinance that encourages low water-use landscaping; assist owners of automatic or underground irrigation systems to install the state-required rain/moisture sensors; report water use reductions; become a WaterSense Partner.
Create and report on a rebate or feebate program to promote purchases of WaterSense- and/or Energy Star-rated appliances; review building water conservation strategies during development reviews; as code allows facilitate household/building site rainwater harvesting/reuse; prohibit city water from supplying lawn irrigation systems.
Action 5: Conserve drinking/groundwater resources by creating a watering ordinance, water-wise landscaping ordinance/guidance, WaterSense purchasing program, or guidance on rainwater harvesting.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Efficient Outdoor Lighting and Signals
{ BP no. 4 }

Report synchronized traffic signals, flashing yellow left turn arrow signals, installation of detectors in at least 10% of city signals (operated under traffic actuated/responsive mode). Report roundabouts under best practice action 11.6
Work with the county/MnDOT to interconnect traffic signals and coordinate them in one corridor; install one or more bicycle crossing signal detectors.
Work with the county/MnDOT to interconnect/coordinate among traffic signals and synchronize them along several corridors.
Action 4: Coordinate traffic signals and/or optimize signal timing so as minimize car idling at intersections yet maintain safe and publicly acceptable vehicle speeds.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Install at least one LED/solar-powered flashing sign, for example, warning flashers and wayfinding/signage lighting.
Install PV-powered or LED lighting as a pilot in a street, parking lot or park project. Examples include seasonally used park lighting (ice rinks, lighting in flood-prone areas, etc.).
Install routinely, as matter of policy, LED or solar powered lighting in street, parking lot or park projects.
Action 5: Use LED/solar-powered lighting for a flashing sign or in a street, parking lot or park project.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Address high energy use lighting first, such as any ice rinks/athletic fields, working with the local utility as appropriate. Report relamping of parking lots/ramps under action 4.7
Relamp/improve two-thirds of building/facility lighting.
Relamp/improve all building/facility lighting.
Action 6: Relamp/improve exterior building lighting for city-owned buildings/facilities with energy efficient, Dark-Sky compliant lighting.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Replace lighting in 50% of structures with Dark-Sky compliant, energy efficient lighting technologies.
Replace lighting in 75% of structures with Dark-Sky compliant, energy efficient, automatic dimming lighting technologies.
Replace 100% city-owned parking lot lighting with Dark-Sky compliant, energy efficient, automatic dimming lighting technologies.
Action 7: Replace city-owned parking lot/ramp lighting with Dark-Sky compliant, energy efficient, automatic dimming lighting technologies.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Building Redevelopment
{ BP no. 5 }

Incentives/assistance are offered by the city or promoted by the city, AND green building practices are explicitly included.
Take 1-star actions AND provide guidance on how to retain historic architectural elements during remodels.
Take 2-star actions AND the program's successes are well-promoted.
Action 4: Create/modify a green residential remodeling assistance/financing program to assist homeowners in adding space to their existing homes.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Adopt design standards that address the downtown core and encourage compatible infill development.
Small houses (~500 sq.ft.) allowed under CUP on non-conforming vacant city lots; standards facilitate the evolution of strip/large format commercial areas into more livable/walkable neighborhoods with a mix of land use and including gathering places.
Limit annexations or infrastructure extensions until infill and redevelopment goals are met; encourage building, mall and parking ramp design such that structures can be adapted for different future uses.
Action 5: Adopt development and design standards that facilitate infill, redevelopment, and adaptable buildings.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Land Use   Land Use

Comprehensive Plans
{ BP no. 6 }

Adopt a comp plan that is less than ten years old or adopt a land use plan that was adopted by the county or a regional entity less than 15 years ago, or Category B & C cities may adopt a city vision that looks at least 20 years into the future.
Include in your plan a sustainability section/chapter, an active living/placemaking/bike-ped section, or integrate sustainability goals and strategies into all chapters of your comprehensive plan, or articulate land development principles for creating a complete, compact and connected community. Report climate protection or energy independence goals and objectives under action 6.5
Adopt a development goal that new/infill projects generate enough tax revenue to pay for the related public infrastructure maintenance/replacement over multiple life cycles; reference a capital improvement plan that catalogues public system maintenance obligations by date and cost.
Action 1: Adopt a comprehensive plan or (for Category B & C cities) adopt a land use plan that was adopted by the county or a regional entity.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Document where in the zoning code or development regulation the comprehensive plan is referenced as a foundational document or that the purpose of the code is to implement the comprehensive plan.
Comprehensive plan referenced in all land use and development ordinances and regulations in addition to zoning code ordinances.
Individual ordinances or ordinance sections should be introduced with a "Purposes" section that includes language such as the following: "The XXX regulations specifically implement the following goals from the Comprehensive Plan: "
Action 2: Demonstrate that regulatory ordinances comply with the comprehensive plan including but not limited to having the zoning ordinance explicitly reference the comprehensive plan as the foundational document for decision making.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Include plan requirements (in a comp plan or another planning document) on coordinated action with surrounding or overlapping jurisdictions for several of these issues: land use, watershed/groundwater impacts, transportation, sewer and water, economic development, housing and foreclosures, police, fire, health; adopt a wellhead / source water protection plan.
Convene discussions or enter into agreements (joint service or others) with surrounding communities on at least 3 of these issues.
Jointly invest in infrastructure to avoid duplication or improve performance; as part of inter-city discussions mentor another GreenStep city.
Action 3: Include requirements in comprehensive and/or other plans for intergovernmental coordination addressing land use and watershed / wellhead impacts, infrastructure, economic development and city/regional services.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Efficient City Growth
{ BP no. 7 }

One 7-unit/acre single-family zoning district or selected area.
A mixed- or single-use zoning district that sets a minimum density for single family at 7 dwelling units/acre and minimum gross density for multi-family at 15 DUA (a level that supports 1 bus/15 min.). Multi-family housing includes attached housing, apartments and condos.
A minimum residential gross density of 20 units/acre when adjacent to a permanent transit node or pedestrian-oriented commercial retail district.
Action 1: Limit barriers to higher density housing by including in the city zoning ordinance and zoning map:     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

a. Neighborhood single-family density at 7 units/acre or greater.

b. Multi-family housing at a gross density of at least 15 units/acre adjacent to a commercial zoning district or transit node.


Use a process/ordinance (planned unit development or other) that allows increased density and approves development on substandard lots through flexible frontage and lot sizes; create a density bonus in one residential or commercial zoning district; allow accessory dwelling units in one single-family zoning district or overlay area.
Have a density bonus in multiple areas in the city; bonus for underground parking or proximity to transit or multifamily playground space; allow accessory dwelling units and/or co-housing developments in multiple single-family districts; allow tiny houses (~400 sq. ft.) on small lots or small (~350 sq. ft.) apartments.
Create an additional density bonus linked to a transfer of development rights program that protects agricultural or natural resource land on the fringe of the urban area. Tie ADUs explicity into a plan for increasing affordable housing and/or reducing homelessness. Allow rooming or boarding houses; uncap the number of roommates who may share a dwelling unit.
Action 2: Encourage higher density housing through at least two of the following strategies:     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

a. Incorporate a flexible lot size/frontage requirement for infill development.

b. Use density and floor area ratio (FAR) bonuses in selected residential zoning districts.

c. Tie a regulatory standard to comprehensive plan language defining compact city expansion zones that limit low-density development.

d. Allowing accessory dwelling units or co-housing or tiny houses / apartments by right in selected zoning districts.


Document the existence of a district meeting the FAR standard and/or zero-lot line.
Achieve 1 Star rating AND locate the higher intensity district near higher density housing, assuming the allowed commercial land uses are compatible.
The number of retail entrances per 330 feet in a downtown retail district ranges between 8 and 13; employment density of 25+ jobs/acre in compact areas.
Action 3: Encourage a higher intensity of commercial land uses through at least one of the following strategies:     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

a. Include in the city zoning ordinance and zoning map a commercial district with reduced lot sizes and zero-lot-line setbacks, or a FAR minimum of 1.

b. Set targets for the minimum number of employees/acre in different commercial zones.


Offer tax-increment financing, land write-downs or other loan/grant tools.
Offer a building permit fee discount or expedited permit review; use direct purchase & demolition.
Offer at least one incentive tool for life-cycle housing; report a completed project such as a senior care facility.
Action 4: Provide incentives for infill projects, or for life-cycle housing at or near job or retail centers, or for achieving an average net residential density of seven units per acre.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Summarize the enabling zoning language.
Provide zoning and incentives for such developments.
Add language for meeting the LEED-ND green infrastructure and buildings credit for solar orientation of buildings to maximize passive (and active) solar heating of structures, OR for another challenging LEED-ND credit.
Action 5: Modify the city zoning ordinance and zoning map to allow, without variance or rezoning in at least one district, developments that meet the prerequisites for LEED for Neighborhood Development certification.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Mixed Uses
{ BP no. 8 }

Conduct a process that involves community members / stakeholder input. Report main street revitalization and preservation actions under best practice 5.2; report comp plan civic engagement under 6.1
Bring in a facilitator to work with the city, community members and other stakeholders; use the Equitable Development Scorecard as an evaluation tool.
Participate in a Minnesota Design Team charrette; plan to increase the percent of residents who work within 10 miles of their homes.
Action 1: Organize or participate in a community planning/design process for the city/a mixed use district.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Explain which attributes are met.
Parking spaces are significantly below the parking standard due to bike/ped/transit access, shared parking, municipal lot.
A public school is located along a public transit line and provides incentives (such as discounted bus passes) for students to use the line.
Action 2: Locate or lease a school, city building or other government facility that has at least two of these attributes:     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

a. Adjacent to an existing employment or residential center.

b. Designed to facilitate and encourage access by walking and biking.

c. Accessible by regular transit service.


Ordinance allows mixed uses.
Ordinance requires residential-only PUDs to be adjacent to commercial development or to be served by frequent transit.
Ordinance requires a mix of uses.
Action 3: Modify a planned unit development ordinance to emphasize mixed use development or to limit residential PUDs to areas adjacent to commercial development.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Efficient Highway- and Auto-Oriented Development
{ BP no. 9 }

Work with community members in establishing design goals or designs standards, publish the standards, and ensure that the standards are provided to everyone proposing development in the corridor/cluster.
Adopt an overlay district; in the public process to set design standards, use visual preference survey tools to develop both goals and designs.
Require or provide incentives (design assistance, permit fee reductions, etc) for new development and redevelopment to adhere to the goals and designs.
Action 1: Establish design goals for at least one highway/auto-oriented corridor/cluster.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Transportation   Transportation

Mobility Options
{ BP no. 12 }

A basic map that shows (by neighborhood if a larger city) key civic/commercial sites, best bike and pedestrian routes, and transit routes and schedules; OR report increases in walk/bike counts.
Installed infrastructure such as designed bike or pedestrian or transit facilities like park and ride lots (report sidewalks/bike lanes under action 11.4), OR document the increase in employeer-offered transportation fringe benefits, OR report a Walk Score of 70+ or an increase in your city's Walk Score.
Be recognized as a Bicycle or Walk Friendly Community, OR require routine installation of infrastructure, such as bike parking, for all new multifamily and non-residential developments, OR allow property owners to substitute bike parking spaces for required car parking spaces.
Action 1: Promote walking, biking and transit use by one or more of the following means:     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

a. Produce/distribute route maps, signage or a web site.

b. Document increased bike facilities, such as racks, bike stations or showers.

c. Add bus infrastructure, such as signage, benches, shelters, park and ride lots, and real-time arrival data-streaming.

d. Increase the number of employers promoting multiple commuting options, including offering qualified transportation fringe benefits instead of only a tax-free parking fringe benefit.

e. Be recognized as a Walk Friendly or Bicycle Friendly Community.


Page on chamber of commerce site includes links to one or more services.
Page on city web site includes links to one or more services.
Information includes or has easy links to costs, routes, operation hours, etc.; promote a peer-to-peer taxi service.
Action 3: Prominently identify mobility options: transit; paratransit/Dial-A-Ride; cab service; rental cars; bikes.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Add or expand transit in your city or between your city and other destinations, working with other units of local governments as needed.
Assist in the creation of or promote the existance of a car sharing business or bike sharing business/service; embed a transit station/stop in a transit-oriented/mixed-use district. Report supportive changes in parking requirements under action 14.1
Schedule transit service for at least every 30 minutes during peak hours so that 75% of city addresses are within 1/2 mile of a transit stop.
Action 6: Add/expand transit service, or promote car/bike sharing.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Efficient City Fleets
{ BP no. 13 }

Survey each fleet vehicle by type, MPG and use; implement at least one right-size or down-size improvement (for example, use of a sedan instead of a pick-up truck for inspection work, use of a full electric utility vehicle in parks/public works, or one multi-purpose vehicle instead of two vehicles).
Adopt a vehicle purchasing policy/practice; right-size all vehicles in one portion of the city's fleet (for example, police, fire, public works, inspections) and report any vehicle reductions and improvement in the fleet's average MPG.
Right-size all vehicles in the city's fleet and report vehicle reductions and improvement in the fleet's average MPG.
Action 2: Right-size/down-size the city fleet with the most fuel-efficient vehicles that are of an optimal size and capacity for their intended functions.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Monitor fuel usage and costs on a regular basis. Report data to fleet managers and users. Implement maintenance schedules that optimize vehicle life and fuel efficiency. Adopt a no-idling policy/practice or conduct training for more efficient driving. Report small electric utility vehicles under 13.2
Achieve a 1-Star rating and complete one or more of: (a) purchase or lease at least one highway-usable electric/hybrid-electric vehicle (EV); (b) add vehicles (and fueling stations as needed) using lower-carbon fuels (ethanol flexfuel, compressed natural gas, straight vegetable oil, biodiesel above the State-mandated 5%, other advanced biofuels); (c) add other alternative fuel vehicles.
Achieve a 1-Star rating and add a full-electric vehicle, and/or install a solar-charging EV station (or purchase renewable electricity for EV charging). Report EV charging stations that the public can use under best practice action 23.5
Action 3: Phase-in no-idling practices, operational and fuel changes, and equipment changes including electric vehicles, for city or local transit fleets.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Police patrols on bike, foot, Segway or horseback.
City inspectors or other staff on bike, foot or horseback.
Report outcome measures resulting from actions: decreased costs, reduced vehicle miles traveled, fleet reductions, or other metrics.
Action 4: Phase in bike, foot or horseback modes for police, inspectors and other city staff.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Implement at least two strategies, which can include training drivers in fuel-efficient driving, adopting a no idling policy/practice.
Use of route optimizer software, or city buses, or other techniques to reduce bus usage.
Documentation (including energy and costs) of implementation of actions. Report Safe Routes to School (shifting students from the bus to biking/walking) implementation results under best practice action 12.2
Action 5: Document that the local school bus fleet has optimized routes, start times, boundaries, vehicle efficiency and fuels, driver actions to cut costs including idling reduction, and shifting students from the bus to walking, biking and city transit.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Environmental Management   Environmental Management

Urban Forests
{ BP no. 16 }

Certified for current year.
Certified for 30 or more years, or recent recipient of a Growth award.
Certified for at least 10 years with an annual tree budget (for maintenance, planting, replacements, removals) of at least $4 per resident (twice the Tree City requirement) or have calculated and publicized the financial and other benefits of trees to your city.
Action 1: Certify as a Tree City USA.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Street trees are provided on both sides of at least 60% of the main downtown street at intervals averaging no more than about 40 feet, excluding driveways and utility vaults.
Major effort providing or offering residents / businesses trees to plant on private property.
Maximize tree planting/landscaping on the entire blocks along mainstreet by, for example, funneling money from a business improvement district to alley plantings, pocket/corner parks, parking lot plantings behind buildings, a community depaving party, and the like.
Action 4: Maximize tree planting along your main downtown street or throughout the city.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


For smaller cities: at least one volunteer is a Minnesota Certified Tree Inspector or a Minnesota Forest Pest First Detector.
City has written and begun implementing a community emerald ash borer preparedness plan/climate change adaptation plan for urban forests; city tree canopy follows "10-20-30" rule-of-thumb.
At least one city staff member is a Certified Forester, a landscape horticulture professional, or holds Tree Inspector and First Detector certification; city staff provide free assistance to residents/businesses.
Action 6: Build community capacity to protect existing trees/plant resilient species by certifying at least one or more local staff/volunteers.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Stormwater Management
{ BP no. 17 }

At least one ordinance in place (MS4s must achieve a 2- or 3-star rating).
Two ordinances in place.
Three or more ordinances in place.
Action 3: Adopt by ordinance one or more of the following stormwater infiltration/management strategies:     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

a. A narrower streets provision that permits construction of 22- or 24-foot roads for public, residential access and subcollector streets (with fewer than 500 average daily trips).

b. For sites less than one acre, retain the water quality volume of 1.1 inches of runoff from all impervious surfaces for new and fully-redeveloped construction sites.

c. For non-MS4 permittees, adopt an illicit discharge prohibition rule or ordinance and an erosion and sediment control ordinance.


Have a stormwater utility with variable fees.
Achieve 1-star rating and offer property owners decreased fees based upon percent impervious surface coverage.
Achieve 2-star rating and use 100% of fees for stormwater program.
Action 4: Create a stormwater utility that uses variable fees to incentivize enhanced stormwater management, minimize the volume of and pollutants in runoff, and educate property owners.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Install, require and/or provide guidelines for rain gardens, rain barrels, parking lots (salt use reduction/alternatives, French drains, etc.) or pervious pavement.
Install, require, incentivize and/or provide guidelines for green roofs, cisterns, neighborhood water storage, rainwater harvesting to supplant irrigation with drinking water, and other stormwater reuse. Report storage and reuse of stormwater for golf course/parkland irrigation under best practice action 18.5c.
Have an ongoing retrofit program to reduce pollutant loads and stormwater volume from existing neighborhoods that requires one or more of the stormwater practices in this action; aim for zero stormwater discharge in a development project.
Action 5: Adopt and implement guidelines or design standards/incentives for at least one of the following stormwater infiltration/reuse practices:     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

a. Rain gardens/infiltration practices.

b. Rainwater harvesting practices.

c. Green alleys or green parking lots.

d. Pervious/permeable pavement or pavers.

e. Green roofs / green walls.

f. Tree trenches / tree boxes.


Parks and Trails
{ BP no. 18 }

Remedy at least one connectivity break by, for example, completing a missing trail section, acquiring a high quality natural area, a priority stormwater management area, vacant space in a high amenity/redevelopment area, a rail corridor. Report remedies for street-to-trail gaps (between city streets and off-road trails/bike trails) under best practice action 11.5.
Remedy at least 3 connectivity breaks. Sign at least one shared use agreement with a school that allows public use of school outdoor facilities outside of school hours.
Remedy/plan/budget for 75% or more of the gaps; add a walking/biking trail that connects your city to a key destination/area/trail outside the city.
Action 1: Make improvements within your city's system of parks, offroad trails and open spaces.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Have in the city's subdivision chapter code language requiring dedication of open spaces, parks, and drainage easements or, in lieu of that, cash with each new subdivision. Report conservation design to create wildlife corridors under action 10.1
Dedication required for new developments over 1 acre; create and adopt a conceptual parks and green connections plan for greenfield areas having or planned to have urban services or redevelopment areas; integrate into existing Park/Open Space/Trail Plan if one is in place.
Achieve 2 star rating AND require demonstration of bike/ped trail connections for all new housing to existing trail network as part of the subdivision submittal.
Action 2: Plan and budget for a network of parks, green spaces, water features and trails for areas where new development is planned.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Introduce low/no mow areas into parkland; collect recyclables. List garden plots in city parks under BP 27.3; report electric utility vehicles under 13.2
Introduce low/no mow areas into parkland AND utilize organic or integrated pest management; certify through the MPCA at least one city staff person at Level 1 in turf grass BMPs; collect compostables; adopt a bee-safe / pollinator policy.
Provide sources of non-potable water, or surface/rain water, for parkland irrigation; require all city-licensed turf grass services to have staff certified at Level 1 in MPCA turf grass BMPs; introduce sheep/goats to keep grass mowed/invasives at bay; raise honey on city land/buildings; other innovative methods.
Action 5: Create park/city land management standards/practices that maximize at least one of the following:     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

a. Low maintenance turf management; native landscaping; organic or integrated pest management; pollinator/monarch-safe policies.

b. Recycling/compostables collection.

c. Sources of nonpotable water, or surface/rain water, for irrigation.


Create an annual event or ongoing 'adopt a park' effort for volunteer trash cleanup of open space, buckthorn removal, etc. for parks or selected public open space areas. Event can be in cooperation with other organizations. Report gardens plots in city parks under BP 27.3
In addition to cleanup and removal of exotics (1 Star), engage community members in annual restoration of natural areas (replanting shoreland buffers, restoring prairie, etc.).
Create and fund an annual city-wide event for cleanup and restoration, engaging residents in most neighborhoods and creating a public promotion around the event.
Action 8: Develop a program to involve community members in hands-on land restoration and stewardship projects.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Solid Waste Reduction
{ BP no. 22 }

Measure/audit waste generated, and/or adopt goals for diverting a percentage of overall solid waste into recycling or compostables collection, or goals for specific waste streams such as from parks.
Describe actions taken, such as collecting organic material and beverage containers from parks and sending this material into organics and recycling collection.
Report measures that show goals were met by the increased amount of waste diverted into recycling and compostables collection.
Action 2: Adopt and meet recycling/composting goals for waste/toxics generated from internal city operations.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Identify and list relevant businesses; promote events such as fix-it clinics.
Publicize and promote reuse/repair/rental businesses on your city website, in newsletter articles; facilitate neighbor-to-neighbor reuse of large items before annual 'curbside cleanups.'
Document increased use of these businesses; organize volunteers (or support others) to run at least one "fix-it" clinic for community members.
Action 4: Publicize, promote and use the varied businesses/services collecting and marketing used, repaired and rental consumer goods in the city/county.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Provide participant numbers and/or tons managed of one or more programs: food-to-people, food-to-animals, compostables collection, and backyard composting. Yard waste, though organic, does not count, as it it banned by state law from landfills and is typically chipped/composted and reused.
Achieve 1-star rating and include a public outreach program to prevent food waste.
Manage organics via anaerobic digestion, and/or set and meet an aggressive program goal, such as % residents/businesses participating or profitability of program.
Action 5: Arrange for a residential or business/institutional source separated organics collection/management program.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Require organized collection of residential recyclables, OR publish hauler rates on the city's web site and require waste/recyclables tonnage reports as a condition of licensing, OR assist residents on a percentage of city blocks to arrange for at least 75% of the houses to contract with the same hauler. Report compostables collection under action 22.5
Require garbage haulers to follow the city-organized recycling collection schedule; report the city recycling rate AND either mandate collection of recyclables from multi-unit residential buildings OR mandate collection of 3 or more recyclable materials from commercial entities.
Organize garbage collection; note estimated cost savings to residents and from decreased truck traffic. Also note if trucks use compressed natural gas (and if CNG is favored/required as a city license condition).
Action 6: Implement one or more city-wide solid waste collection/recycling systems:     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

a. Require collection of recyclables from multi-unit residential buildings.

b. Require collection of 3 or more recyclable materials from commercial entities.

c. Organize regular, ongoing residential solid waste collection by private and/or public operations to link one (or more) geographic district(s) to only one hauler.


Economic and Community Development   Economic and Community Development

Benchmarks & Community Engagement
{ BP no. 24 }

A staff green team, or small working group (e.g., city manager, council member, citizen commission chair) exists; annual news article/media to community members referencing GreenStep (& other programs as relevant); city web has a link to city's GreenStep web page.
A citizens commission or committee of city staff/officials exists to lead and coordinate GreenStep implementation; a report available online with details on city's GreenStep accomplishments.
A committee of city staff/officials and community members (business, education, religious) exists; annual report includes some metrics, such as dollars spent/saved, energy saved, and any sustainability indicators measured, and energy/carbon inventory data or ecological footprint data if gathered.
Action 1: Use a committee to lead, coordinate and report to community members on implementation of GreenStep best practices.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Report goals/outcomes annually from plans such as comprehensive, parks, library, housing, stormwater, drinking water, transportation, economic development, energy, sustainability. Issue a city Performance Management Report; use a simple form at http://tinyurl.com/24-2template
Achieve 1 Star rating AND identify specific steps from city departments on how to improve performance or meet goals that were not met in the previous year.
Integrate goals/outcomes reporting explicitly into the city capital improvement planning process, identifying how public dollars are targeted to meeting sustainability goals in the plans.
Action 2: Organize goals/outcome measures from all city plans and report to community members data that show progress toward meeting these goals.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Involve an existing city council committee or community task force, or create an energy, environment, or sustainability city council subcommittee, advisory commission or task force.
Adopt and commit to measure and annually report on sustainability indicators, generally related to or directly tied city's work on GreenStep best practices; may include community-wide energy and water use, vehicle miles traveled, and waste generated (Regional Indicators Initiative).
Adopt and commit to measure and annually report on broad sustainability indicators such as covered by the STAR Community Rating System.
Action 3: Engage community members in a public process that results in city council adoption of and commitment to measure and report progress on sustainability indicators.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Host a community meeting/event that explictly uses a sustainability framework.
Create or support an on-going local effort around one of these sustainability frameworks.
Achieve 2-star rating and adopt a sustainability plan or other implementation plan and/or goals and document concrete actions taken toward achieving them. Report adopted energy or climate plans under action 6.5
Action 5: Conduct or support a community education, visioning and planning initiative using a sustainability framework such as:     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

a. Strong Towns.

b. Resiliency, transition initiatives.

c. Eco-municipalities, ecological footprinting, urban metabolism, permaculture.

d. ISO 14001, Genuine Progress.

e. Healthy communities, multi-generation learning.


Local Food
{ BP no. 27 }

Remove restrictions to food gardening/raising of chickens/bees in residential areas. Report beehives on city property under action 18.5
Proactively zone for & allow by right food gardening/raising of chickens/bees; report one or more developments that have dedicated, permanent and managed growing space, such as resident garden space, and/or related facilities (such as greenhouses). Report under GreenStep action 3.5 adopted city guidelines that prevent the restriction of food production through homeowner (HOA) agreements (CC&Rs).
Work with a rental building owner to establish a community garden, farmer's market or CSA/food buying club drop-point within 1/2 mile; establish tax incentives to use vacant lots for urban agriculture.
Action 2: Facilitate creation of home/community gardens, chicken & bee keeping, and incorporation of food growing areas/access in multifamily residential developments.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Summarize what exists in the city: a farmer's market, urban ag businesses, etc.
Report on supportive actions taken by the city such as use of city land for a farmer's market, garden plots in city parks, hiring a garden/market coordinator, supporting season extension techniques such as hoop houses or greenhouses; donations from markets/gardens to food shelves.
Report on percent of housing units within a 1 mile of a healthy food source (farmer's market, community garden, CSA drop point, and stores with an NAICS code of 445110 or 445230); convert top level of a parking ramp for a local food growing business.
Action 3: Create, assist with and promote local food production/distribution within the city:     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

a. A farmer's market or co-op buying club.

b. An urban agriculture business or a community-supported agriculture (CSA) arrangement between farmers and community members/employees.

c. A community or school garden, orchard or forest.