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    City of Golden Valley  


Background Information

County:   Hennepin
Population:   20,866
GreenStep City category:   A

Full-time equivalent city staff (approx.):   100

Participating township, county, school:


GreenStep City resolution:   Click here to view the file.
GreenStep City status and date:   STEP 1 (04/19/2016)

GreenStep Coordinator

Eric Eckman
City staff
eeckman@goldenvalleymn.gov
763-593-8084

City web page relating to sustainability/GreenStep activities:
http://www.goldenvalleymn.gov/index.php

City Assessment Files and City Performance Metrics

City councils pass a resolution to join the GreenStep program and are recognized at Step 1. Step 2 and Step 3 recognition levels reflect completed city actions, reported and rated below with stars (1 star = good, 2 stars = better, 3 stars = best). The Assessment Files below summarize completed city actions in a short Word file. Step 4 recognition is awarded each June to cities who report a minimum number of optional (and a few high-priority/core) metrics for the previous calendar year. These metrics - see guidance documents for them at http://www.betterenergy.org/step4 - aim to show the aggregate, quantitative results of taking multiple GreenStep actions. Step 5 cities show improvement beyond minimum thresholds in the Step 4 metrics. See yearly data in the Metrics Files below.

Assessment Files
2017 - click to view assessment

 


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, water 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 one city building or school, or county/other government building, and which framework was used. Report park buildings under best practice action 18.7; report policies that require green building certification under action 3.1
Complete 1 Star criteria for two buildings, and list at what level the buildings are certified. Report energy use reduction in remodels.
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.
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 Outdoor Lighting and Signals
{ BP no. 4 }

Signal lights go into “flash mode” during certain hours of the day; 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 ]  


Replace 1/3 of city's existing traffic signals.
Replace 2/3 of city's existing traffic signals; replace half and document savings.
Replace 100% of city's existing traffic signals.
Action 8: Replace the city's existing traffic signals with LEDs.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Land Use   Land Use

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.


Two or more uses in multi-story buildings favored in the comp plan with overall goals or design guidelines.
Adopt incentives (density bonus, development assistance) for vertical mixed use development such as housing above commercial, shared parking in the downtown core.
An incentive and/or requirement for inclusionary (affordable) housing in at least one development; live/work vertical units allowed by right.
Action 7: Create incentives for vertical mixed-use development in appropriate locations (downtown, commercial districts near colleges or universities, historic commercial districts).     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Design for Natural Resource Conservation
{ BP no. 10 }

Complete an NRI or NRA and use findings in the decision-making process when evaluating land use options. Report individual tree replacement ordinances in best practice action 16.5
Adopt ordinance language that utilizes findings in the inventory/assessment; adopt an incentive for conservation design in your zoning or subdivision ordinance, in which at least 50% of developable land is permanently protected, or create a conservation design district that requires the use of conservation design practices such as permanent protection of high quality habitat/open space, explicit wildlife corridors.
Create city-wide protections for natural systems/resources (e.g., groundwater, uplands, forest bats), such as mandatory natural resource design standards for priority natural resource and open space areas, or for rezonings of agricultural or other undeveloped land, require a finding of fact that undeveloped residential land in the city is insufficient to meet market demand.
Action 1: Conduct a Natural Resource Inventory or Assessment (NRI or NRA); incorporate protection of priority natural systems or resources through the subdivision or development process.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Have placed at least one conservation easement on a parcel.
Develop or participate with others in a conservation easement program.
Adopt or participate in a purchase of development rights or transfer of development rights program.
Action 5: Develop/fund a conservation easement program, such as a purchase of development rights program, in collaboration with a land trust.     [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 $8 per resident (4X 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 ]  


Adopt MN Tree Trust Best Practices, MN Stormwater Manual tree design guidelines or the like.
Use guidelines in at least one development project; document that the development achieves an excellent or better Tree Trust rating, or assess the performance of tree trenches and tree boxes.
Incorporate adopted tree planting best practices in development ordinances; show with data that 'plant once' practices are decreasing the number of dying boulevard trees that must be replanted.
Action 2: Adopt best practices for urban tree planting/quality; use them in at least one development project.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


A minimum number of trees planted by the city each year, OR at least 2-3 trees planted for each city tree lost.
An overall city tree canopy of at least 30% and/or a canopy above 60% for residential areas; use I-Tree for tree inventory of trees on City property; include tree replacement money in Pavement Management Program budget.
An overall city tree canopy of at least 40%, with goals for canopy over parking lots (such as 50%), canopy over residential (60% - 75%), canopy over commercial/industrial; OR, use iTree to quantify benefits of your urban canopy
Action 3: Budget for and achieve urban canopy/tree planting goals.     [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 ]  


Parks and Trails
{ BP no. 18 }

There exist at least 7 acres of municipal park land per 1000 residents.
At least 20% of total city land area is in protected green infrastructure (parks and protected natural resource areas, trails, publicly accessible school green space).
90% or more of residents are within one-half mile of a park or other protected green/blue space.
Action 3: Achieve minimum levels of city green space.     [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 ]  


Economic and Community Development   Economic and Community Development

Renewable Energy
{ BP no. 26 }

Ensure that solar and wind energy installations are allowed land uses for appropriate zoning districts within the zoning code. Report any resulting installed capacity in kW.
Adopt the Minnesota Solar Challenge land use best practices or a wind ordinance with provisions that promote rather than restrict renewable energy installations. Include incentive provisions such as fee guidelines, fast-tracking permits (as noted in action 26.7). Note land use or street standards that maximize solar orientation of buildings. Report any resulting installed capacity in kW.
Adopt solar energy standards and a wind energy ordinance AND require renewable energy installations or RE-ready buildings when the city is a financial participant in a project. Report any resulting installed capacity in kW.
Action 1: Adopt solar energy standards or a wind energy ordinance that allows or encourages appropriate renewable energy installations.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Describe any public sector project and report installed capacity in kW. Report wastewater biogas projects under action 20.6, solid waste anaerobic digestion under action 22.5, and geothermal under action 1.7
Install at least two different RE technologies and report installed capacity in kW; show that a RE installation has shaved off peak energy demand and allowed the monthly utility demand charge to be decreased.
Install RE capacity in excess of 100 kW; report combined heat and power generation.
Action 5: Install a public sector/municipally owned renewable energy technology, such as solar electric (PV), biomass, solar hot water/air, micro-hydro or wind.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Climate Adaptation and Community Resilience
{ BP no. 29 }

Develop targeted emergency communications in appropriate languages (or get access to existing versions) to address the specific vulnerabilities of each population group in your community to each type of event.
In consultation with the county, every two years review the county (or city if there is one) Hazard Mitigation Plan and identify who is responsible for city preparedness, emergency response, and recovery efforts for each type of event. Routinely participate in updating the Plan. (Category A & B cities must achieve a 1-star rating plus either a 2- or 3- star rating for Step 3 recognition).
In consultation with the county, designate appropriate facilities available to the public as community safe shelter for each type of event as applicable. Arrange for adequate provisions (including potable water) and backup power for 5-7 days. Develop coordinated strategies with private sector critical facilities and document agreed upon procedures.
Action 1: Prepare to maintain public health and safety during extreme weather and climate-change-related events, while also taking a preventive approach to reduce risk for community members.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Conduct a high-level assessment of strategic climate vulnerabilities. Identify important assets and key adaptation/resilience opportunities. (Report more detailed assessments under Actions 5 and 7.)
Incorporate climate adaptation and resilience goals and strategies into the city’s comprehensive plan (or long-term vision or adaptation plan for Category B & C cities and tribes) using public engagement processes which must involve proactive outreach, stakeholder involvement, and meaningful engagement of vulnerable and underrepresented populations.
Based on the direction provided by an assessment of vulnerabilities and/or a comprehensive planning process, integrate identified climate adaptation/resilience strategies directly into city ordinances, operating procedures, and Capital Improvement Plans (such as strong land use and/or stormwater regulations to protect or create resilient assets).
Action 2: Integrate climate resilience into city or tribal planning, policy, operations, and budgeting processes.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Inventory and/or map your sanitary sewer system, gray and green stormwater infrastructure, city roads and bridges, and municipal power lines. For MS4 cities, use an asset management system to monitor and maintain this infrastructure. (Report tree inventories under best practice 16.)
Make investments in green and gray infrastructure that are strategically designed to fix specific intersections, underpasses, culverts or other areas prone to flash flooding, to resolve recent occurrences of combined sewer overflow, and/or to add meaningful system capacity for extreme rainfall events.
Assess city-owned buildings and sites for vulnerabilities to extreme weather, and make investments to reduce or prevent damage and sustain function. (Report water and wastewater facilities under Action 7.)
Action 5: Protect public buildings and natural/constructed infrastructure to reduce physical damage and sustain their function during extreme weather events.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]