Enter/update building information into the MN B3 Benchmarking database, and routinely enter monthly usage data for all city-owned buildings/infrastructure that consume energy/water.
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Buildings and Lighting
Benchmark energy and water usage, identify savings opportunities in consultation with state programs, utilities and others to implement cost-effective energy and sustainability improvements.
Provide incentives for energy, water and sustainability improvements in existing residential, not-for-profit and commercial buildings/building sites.
Integrate green building and EV charging best practices information and assistance into the building permit process.
Implement an energy rating/disclosure policy for residential and/or commercial buildings.
Conserve/protect drinking/groundwater resources by creating a water-wise landscaping ordinance/guidance, WaterSense purchasing program, or guidance on rainwater harvesting and home water softener use.
Provide a financial or other incentive to private parties who add energy/sustainability improvements, meet the SB 2030 energy standard, or renovate using a green building or energy framework.
Construct new buildings to meet or qualify under a green building framework.
Require by city policy that new city-owned buildings be built using the SB 2030 energy standard and/or a green building framework.
Adopt a sustainable building policy for private buildings; include the SB 2030 energy standard; adopt language governing new development projects that:
Provide a financial or other incentive to private parties who build new buildings that utilize the SB 2030 energy standard and/or a green building framework.
Improve the efficiency and quality of street lighting, traffic signals and outdoor public lighting.
Require energy efficient, Dark-Sky compliant new or replacement outdoor lighting fixtures on city-owned/private buildings and facilities.
Create economic and regulatory incentives for redevelopment and repurposing of existing buildings.
Adopt an historic preservation ordinance/regulations and encourage adaptive reuse.
Create/modify a green residential remodeling assistance/financing program to assist homeowners in adding space or features such as EV charging, renewables to their existing homes.
Adopt development/design standards and programs that facilitate infill, redevelopment, and adaptable buildings.
Build public support and legal validity to long-term infrastructural and regulatory strategy.
Adopt a comprehensive plan or (for Category B & C cities) adopt a future land use plan that was adopted by the county or a regional entity.
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.
Include requirements in comprehensive and/or other plans for intergovernmental coordination addressing regional land use and watershed / wellhead impacts, infrastructure, transportation, economic development and city/regional services.
Include ecological provisions in the comprehensive plan that explicitly aim to minimize open space fragmentation and/or establish a growth area with expansion criteria.
Adopt climate mitigation and/or energy independence goals and objectives in the comprehensive plan or in a separate policy document, and include transportation recommendations such as becoming an EV-ready city.
Increase financial and environmental sustainability by enabling and encouraging walkable housing and retail land use.
Achieve higher density housing through at least two of the following strategies:
Achieve higher intensity commercial/industrial land uses through at least one of the following strategies:
Provide incentives for affordable housing, workforce housing, 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.
Develop efficient land patterns that generate community health and wealth.
Create incentives for vertical mixed-use development in appropriate locations (downtown, commercial districts near colleges or universities, historic commercial districts, commercial districts with minority-owned businesses).
Adopt commercial development and design standards for auto-oriented development corridors and clusters.
Establish design goals for at least one highway/auto-oriented corridor/cluster.
Adopt infrastructure design standards that protect the economic and ecologic functions of the highway corridor through clustering of development, native plantings and incorporating access management standards.
Adopt development ordinances or processes that protect natural systems and valued community assets.
For cities outside or on the fringe of metropolitan areas, conduct a build-out analysis, fiscal impact study, or adopt an urban growth boundary and a consistent capital improvement plan that provides long-term protection of natural resources and natural systems, and agricultural practices outside the boundary.
For cities within metropolitan areas, incorporate woodland best management practices addressing protection of wooded areas into zoning or development review.
Adopt a conservation design policy; use a conservation design tool for pre-design meetings with developers and for negotiating development agreements in cities with undeveloped natural resource areas.
Preserve environmentally sensitive, community-valued land by placing a conservation easement on city lands, and by encouraging/funding private landowners to place land in conservation easements.
Create a network of green complete streets that improves city quality of life, public health, and adds value to surrounding properties.
Adopt a complete streets policy, or a living streets policy, which addresses landscaping and stormwater.
Implement traffic calming policy/measures, including lane conversions (road diets), roundabouts, low-speed streets, shared space and depaving, in at least one street redevelopment project.
Increase active transportation and alternatives to single-occupancy car travel.
Implement workplace multi-modal transportation best management practices - including telework/flexwork - in city government, businesses or at a local health care provider.
Implement a city fleet investment, operations and maintenance plan.
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.
Phase-in operational changes, equipment changes including electric vehicles, and no-idling practices for city or local transit fleets.
Implement Travel Demand Management and Transit-Oriented Design in service of a more walkable city.
Reduce or eliminate parking minimums; add parking maximums; develop district parking; install meters and charge for parking at curb and city-owned lots/ramps.
Require new developments or redevelopments to prepare a travel demand management plan or transit-oriented development standards or LEED for Neighborhood Development certification.
Adopt environmentally preferable purchasing policies and practices to improve health and environmental outcomes.
Adopt a sustainable purchasing policy or administrative guidelines/practices directing that the city purchase at least:
Require purchase of U.S. EPA WaterSense-certified products.
Set minimum sustainability standards to reduce the impact of your concrete use, asphalt, roadbed aggregate, or other construction materials.
Require printing services to be purchased from companies participating in Printing Industry Midwest’s Great Green Printer initiative, or certified by the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership.
Lower the environmental footprint of meetings and events in the city.
Add city tree and plant cover that conserves topsoils and increases community health, wealth, quality of life.
Budget for and achieve resilient urban canopy/tree planting goals.
Build community capacity to protect existing trees by one or more of:
Minimize the volume of and pollutants in rainwater runoff by maximizing green infrastructure.
Adopt and implement guidelines or design standards/incentives for at least one of the following stormwater infiltration/reuse practices:
Increase active lifestyles and property values by enhancing the city's green infrastructure.
Adopt low-impact design standards in parks and trails that infiltrate or retain all 2 inch, 24-hour stormwater events on site.
Create park/city land management standards/practices that maximize at least one of the following:
Improve local water bodies to sustain their long-term ecological function and community benefits.
Reduce flooding damage and costs through the National Flood Insurance Programs and the NFIP’s Community Rating System.
Increase waste prevention, reuse and recycling, moving to a lower-consumption, more cyclical, biological approach to materials management.
Improve city operations and procurement to prevent and reuse, recycle and compost waste from all public facilities (including libraries, parks, schools, municipal health care facilities), and minimize use of toxics and generation of hazardous waste.
Prevent generation of local air contaminants so as to improve community health.
Decrease air emissions from vehicle idling, business trucking, and pollutants/noise from stationary engines/back-up generators.
Install, assist with and promote publicly available EV charging stations or public fueling stations for alternative fuel vehicles.
Resilient Economic and Community Development
Expand a greener, more resilient business sector.
Grow new/emerging green businesses and green jobs through targeted assistance and new workforce development.
Create or participate in a marketing/outreach program to connect businesses with assistance providers, including utilities, who provide personalized energy, waste or sustainability audits and assistance.
Conduct or participate in a buy local campaign for community members and local businesses.
Remove barriers to and encourage installation of renewable energy generation capacity.
Promote resident/business purchases and/or generation of clean energy by:
Promote financing and incentive programs, such as PACE, for clean energy:
Support a community solar garden or help community members participate in a community solar project by:
Network/cluster businesses and design neighborhoods and developments to achieve better energy, social, economic and environmental outcomes in service of a more circular and equitable economy.
Require, build or facilitate at least four sustainability attributes in a business/industrial park project:
Plan and prepare for extreme weather, adapt to changing climatic conditions, and foster stronger community connectedness and social and economic vitality.
Integrate climate resilience into city or tribal planning, policy, operations, and budgeting processes.