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GreenStep City Best Practices Land Use

Resilient City Growth
no. 7

Increase financial and environmental sustainability by enabling and encouraging walkable housing and retail land use.
  Best Practice Action 1      [ 1 2 3 4 5 ]       [all actions]

Limit barriers to higher density housing by including in the city zoning ordinance and zoning map:

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.
Have at least one single-family zoning district or selected area that requires or allows 7-unit/acre (or greater).
A mixed- or single-use zoning district allowing 15+ DUA; a 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.
Allow 2,3,4-plexes by right in most/all residential districts; have a minimum residential gross density of 20 units/acre when adjacent to a permanent transit node or pedestrian-oriented commercial retail district.

Arden Hills

Date action report first entered:   10/24/2017
Date of last report update:   10/24/2017
Year action initially completed:   2015
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   No

Implementation details:
The Town Center District within the TCAAP redevelopment area is a mixed-use zoning district that requires a minimum density of 15 units per acre for multi-family housing and allows for a maximum density of 67 units per acre. The Town Center District allows for a mix of residential, retail, office, and entertainment uses and is adjacent to commercial retail and office districts.

For more information contact:
Mike Mrosla (City staff)   |   mmrosla@cityofardenhills.org   |   6517927822

View All Arden Hills Actions

Bloomington

Date action report first entered:   01/31/2018
Date of last report update:   01/31/2018
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   No

Implementation details:
Bloomington has a number of zoning districts that allow for much higher density than 15 unites/acre, near commercial zoning districts and transits nodes. An excellent example is the City's South Loop district, near the Mall of America.

Descriptive links: https://www.bloomingtonmn.gov/plan/south-loop-district

For more information contact:
Steve Gurney (City staff)   |   sgurney@BloomingtonMN.gov   |   952-563-4606

View All Bloomington Actions

Falcon Heights

Date action report first entered:   01/14/2011

Implementation details:
Upon adopting the most recent comprehensive plan, the city revised it's zoning ordinances and approve a new R5-M zoning district which allows for up to 40 units per acre. Some of these re-zoned areas are adjacent to or across the street from commerically zoned areas.

            view file

For more information contact:
Justin Markon (City staff)   |   justin.markon@falconheights.org   |   651-792-7600

View All Falcon Heights Actions

Richfield

Date action report first entered:   02/19/2016
Date of last report update:   02/19/2019
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   Yes

Implementation details:
The R District in the Zoning Code has a minimum lot size that would allow less than 6.5 DU per acre. R1 District even lower. Comp plan up to 8 DU/A in low-density residential areas. The multi-family and mixed use districts (Sections 525 and 527) allow densities that are significantly higher than 23 du/acre (24-150 du/acre). The districts predominate in the City's commercial centers and transit nodes.

For more information contact:
Melissa Poehlman (City staff)   |   MPoehlman@richfieldmn.gov   |   6128619766

View All Richfield Actions

Saint Cloud

Date action report first entered:   06/06/2011

Implementation details:
The City of St. Cloud limits barriers to high-density housing in several of the zoning districts. Of the 10 residential zonings districts within the City, 4 provide for a high density housing options by allowing single-family density at 6 units per acre and above and multi-family housing density of 15 units per acre and above. The R-3, R-5, R-6, and R-7 zoning district all allow single family density at 7.26 units per acre and multi-family density at 21.78 units per acre for districts R-3, R-5 and R-6 and density of 29.04 units per acre for district R-7. In addition, several of the R-5 Zoning Districts are located adjacent to several commercial corridors within St. Cloud. In particular, this higher density zoning is located along the Highway 10 commercial corridor and along the County Road 74/Saint Germain Street commercial corridor.

Descriptive links: http://ci.stcloud.mn.us/Planning/docs/2009%20zoning%20map.pdf             view file

For more information contact:
Liz Kramer (City staff)   |   elizabeth.kramer@ci.stcloud.mn.us   |   320-255-7226

View All Saint Cloud Actions

Burnsville

Date action report first entered:   05/04/2012

Implementation details:
Burnsville limits barriers to higher density housing in it's zoning ordinance and zoning map through the following: R3A Zoning District allows single family at 4 - 8.7 units per acre and R3C allows multi-family up to 21.78 upa Added a MIX Zoning District to zoning ordinance in 2011 allows density of 15 - 21.78 units per acre & in 1999 added HOC District that allows residential density 21.78 - 56.92 upa. Added a MIX Zoning District to zoning ordinance in 2011 allows density of 15 - 21.78 units per acre & in 1999 added HOC District that allows residential density 21.78 - 56.92 upa

Outcome measures/metrics:
The zoning districts are part of the zoning ordinance. The best way to view the zoning ordinance is on line at www.burnsville.org then click on City Code. The entire zoning ordinance is Title 10. Each specific zoning district has its own chapter within the zoning ordinance. Please note that we are still in the process of implementing our comprehensive plan updates and that on the zoning map, the areas that show up as R3C  Regional Center Residential will be changed to MIX zoning in a couple of months. Also, there is an existing MIX district at Valley Ridge where the Dakota CDA/Presbyterian Homes Valley Ridge assisted care/memory care and independent living mixed use project is under construction. (The site is located SW of the intersection of CSAH 5 and Burnsville Parkway on land that was formerly Valley Ridge Shopping Center.

Descriptive links: www.burnsville.org

For more information contact:
Sue Bast (City staff)   |   basts@ci.burnsville.mn.us   |   952-895-4524

View All Burnsville Actions

Chanhassen

Date action report first entered:   02/05/2019
Date of last report update:   02/05/2019
Year action initially completed:   2018
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   No

Implementation details:
The PUD district permits densities from 8 – 16 units per acre for properties that are guided residential medium or residential high density. The RLM and R-8 districts would permit densities of up to 8 units per acre for properties guided medium density residential. The CBD district has no density limitations. The limiting factor is providing sufficient parking to comply with city standards.

Outcome measures/metrics:
An example of the CBD is The Venue Apartments currently under construction in downtown Chanhassen by the developer Chanhassen Frontier, LLC. This development has a density of 33 units per acre and is located adjacent to a park and ride ramp, is accessible via sidewalks and trails to other commercial and office opportunities in the downtown.

Descriptive links: https://library.municode.com/mn/chanhassen/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=CICO_CH20ZO

For more information contact:
Jill Sinclair (City staff)   |   jsinclair@ci.chanhassen.mn.us   |   952-227-1133

Partners:
Chanhassen Frontier LLC

View All Chanhassen Actions

Elk River

Date action report first entered:   11/24/2010

Implementation details:
We allow up to 8 units per acre for an urban neighborhood and up to 20 units per acre adjacent to a commercial zoning district or transit center.

Descriptive links: http://www.ci.elk-river.mn.us/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC={EA17370A-B000-4D81-B294-8B031B7EC954}

For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff)   |   ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov   |   763-635-1068

View All Elk River Actions

Golden Valley

Date action report first entered:   06/27/2017
Date of last report update:   06/27/2017
Year action initially completed:   2004
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   No

Implementation details:
The moderate (R-2), medium (R-3), and high (R-4) density residential zoning districts (see zoning map for reference) all allow for over 7 units per acre. R-2 allows up to 8 units per acre, R-3 allows for up to 10 units per acre (with a potential for 12 units per acre with density bonuses), and R-4 allows for over 12 units per acre. There are several places in the City where R-3 and R-4 zoning districts are adjacent to commercial zoning districts. The Land Use Chapter in the 2040 Comprehensive Plan update will include consideration of increasing the allowed densities in both the R-3 and R-4 zoning districts.

Descriptive links: http://www.goldenvalleymn.gov/zoning/map.php

For more information contact:
Jason Zimmerman (City staff)   |   jzimmerman@goldenvalleymn.gov   |   (763)-593-8099

View All Golden Valley Actions

Hastings

Date action report first entered:   04/27/2016
Date of last report update:   04/27/2016

Implementation details:
Density allowed per Planned Residential Development Requirements in the R-3 Zoning District. Minimum density of 14 units per acre allowed in the DC Zoning District, with no prescribed maximum density.

For more information contact:
John Hinzman (City staff)   |   jhinzman@hastingsmn.gov   |   651-480-2378

View All Hastings Actions

New Brighton

Date action report first entered:   05/03/2016
Date of last report update:   05/03/2016

Implementation details:
(1a) New Brighton’s official Zoning Code/Map includes an R-1A zoning district that allows minimum lot sizes of 5,000 SF, equating to densities in excess of seven units per acre. This zoning district is limited to downtown New Brighton. (1b)New Brighton’s official Zoning Code/Map includes an R-3A, Multi-Family Residential zoning district that allows densities in excess of 12 units per acre with no maximum. New Brighton’s NBE, New Brighton Exchange zoning district encourages high density residential development with no maximum densities. The View Apartments at Long Lake, within the NBE zoning district, was approved at a density exceeding 30 units per acre.

For more information contact:
Craig Schlichting (City staff)   |   craig.schlichting@newbrightonmn.gov   |   651-638-2056

View All New Brighton Actions

Saint Paul

Date action report first entered:   05/05/2016
Date of last report update:   05/05/2016

Implementation details:
Saint Paul City Ordinance 66.231 allows for single family development of up to 7.2 units/acre in areas zoned as R3, and up to 8.7 units/acre in areas zoned as R4. There are also higher density multi-family residential and mixed use districts throughout the city.

For more information contact:
Ana Vang (City staff)   |   ana.vang@ci.stpaul.mn.us   |   651-266-8536

View All Saint Paul Actions

Sartell

Date action report first entered:   12/07/2017
Date of last report update:   12/07/2017
Year action initially completed:   2017
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   No

Implementation details:
The City's Future Town Square area has reduced lot lines and allows increases in density and mixed-use (up to 18 units per acre) . Attached is memo from one of the approved plats in the town square area which allows up to 18 units per acre.

View All Sartell Actions

Apple Valley

Date action report first entered:   03/19/2012

Implementation details:
The 2030 Comprehensive Plan requires 3-6 units an acre for Single Family zoning districts, but single family districts could be higher than 6 units per acre in Planned Development districts. The city also permits M8 (12-24 units/acre) adjacent to LB (limited business) and RB (retail business).

For more information contact:
Charless Grawe (City staff)   |   CGrawe@ci.apple-valley.mn.us   |   952-953-2508

View All Apple Valley Actions

Bemidji

Date action report first entered:   05/01/2015
Date of last report update:   03/26/2018

Implementation details:
Practice 7, Action 1 (a) and 1 (b)Land Use Plan, Page 72(a), Page 73(b) Adopted February 12, 2007. See Introduction section of Plan in hyperlink. Pages i-ii.

Descriptive links: https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/0c1956_f7b5a9e0c9394f4fa4267ed9fd8ab2a1.pdf

For more information contact:
Michelle Miller (City staff)   |   michelle.miller@ci.bemidji.mn.us   |   218-759-3561

View All Bemidji Actions

Coon Rapids

Date action report first entered:   01/03/2015
Date of last report update:   01/03/2015

Implementation details:
In Coon Rapids, the zoning for single-family residential areas does not allow seven units per acre; only about four units per acre. Higher density residential development, including small lot single-family development, is allowed in select areas along transit corridors. The City's zoning code allows multi-family housing at a density of over 15 units per acre adjacent to several commercial districts and transit nodes, including the Riverdale commuter rail station on the Northstar line, the Port Wellness, Port Campus Square, and Port Riverwalk redevelopment areas, and the Hanson-Northdale commercial area.

For more information contact:
Matt Brown (City staff)   |   mbrown@coonrapidsmn.gov   |   763-767-6422

View All Coon Rapids Actions

Cottage Grove

Date action report first entered:   04/03/2012

Implementation details:
The Future Vision 2030 Comprehensive Plan requires 4.1 to 10 units per acre for medium density residential uses (i.e. duplexex and townhouses) and high density residential development in the MUSA. The City's Official Zoning map and Zoning Ordinance have been amended to allow a wider range of housing densities. The Comprehensive Plan encourages life-cycle housing opportunities and the construction of various housing types for senior housing ownership units, senior rental units and assisted living units. The City will continue to use the Livable Communities Act (LCA) Housing Plan as an implementation tool in accomplishing the City's LCA housing goals.

For more information contact:
Ryan Burfeind (City staff)   |   rburfeind@cottage-grove.org   |   651-458-2899

View All Cottage Grove Actions

Crystal

Date action report first entered:   12/18/2014
Date of last report update:   01/12/2015

Implementation details:
Section 515.41 of the Zoning Ordinance provides for multi-family housing for up to 22 units per acre.

Descriptive links: http://www.crystalmn.gov/docs/Crystal_Zoning_Code_recodfied_2012_10_22_2013__2_.pdf

For more information contact:
Anne Norris (City staff)   |   Anne.Norris@crystalmn.gov   |   763-531-1140

View All Crystal Actions

Eagan

Date action report first entered:   01/13/2011

Implementation details:
Complete and Ongoing. City's HD (high density) comp guide designation anticipates 12+ units/acre and City's R-4 zoning can permit 16+ units/acre. A number of these properties are adjacent to commercial zoning districts. The Cedar Grove Redevelopment Area is planned to be a higher density area than would typically be permitted in Eagan (anticipated to be 16+ units/acre) and they will be in walking distance of both commercial and transit opportunities.

Outcome measures/metrics:
12+ units/acre and City's R-4 zoning can permit 16+ units/acre

For more information contact:
Eric MAcbeth (City staff)   |   emacbeth@cityofeagan.com   |   651/675-5330

View All Eagan Actions

Eden Prairie

Date action report first entered:   12/12/2012

Implementation details:
The following residential zoning districts are in place: R1-9.5(9,500 square foot minimum lot size) R1-13.5 (13,500 square foot minimum lot size) R1-22(22,000 square foot minimum lot size) R1-44(44,000 square foot minimum lot size) RM-6.5 (Multi Family-6.7 Units Per Acre Max) RM-2.5 (Multi Family-17.4 Units Per Acre Max) Town Center Residental Use--Allows for a minimum gross density of 40 UPA for Mid Rise and 60 UPA for high-rise multi-family. The Town Center Zoning district is to provide an area for development of an attactive, compact, walkable, mixed-use environment that creates a live/work/play environment for the community.

Descriptive links: http://www.edenprairie.org/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=77

For more information contact:
Tania Mahtani (City staff)   |   tmahtani@edenprairie.org   |   952-949-8413

View All Eden Prairie Actions

Ely

Date action report first entered:   04/28/2016
Date of last report update:   04/28/2016

Implementation details:
City has 17 acres of single family housing with 8-10 lots per acre.

For more information contact:
Harold Langowski (City staff)   |   elyod@ely.mn.us   |   218-226-5474

View All Ely Actions

Hopkins

Date action report first entered:   08/27/2012

Implementation details:
A mixed-use zoning ordinance 2011-1031,is in place to provide a variety of residential housing types and densities to support a mix of uses.It integrates new mixed use development with its surroundings by encouraging connections for pedestrians and vehicles. R-1-A district has a minimum lot size of 6000 square feet, allowing a density per acre of 7.26 units, and also mixed use zoning district allows multifamily housing at a density of at least 15 units per acre. All necessary information are placed in Section No.543 of the mixed-use zoning ordinance which can be found at www.hopkinsmn.com/weblink8/1/doc/78550/page1.aspx

Descriptive links: www.hopkinsmn.com/weblink8/1/doc/78550/page1.aspx

For more information contact:
Kersten Elverum (City staff)   |   kelverum@hopkinsmn.com   |   952-548-6340

View All Hopkins Actions

Lake Elmo

Date action report first entered:   10/19/2012

Implementation details:
The City Council passed Ordinance 2012-63 on 9-18-12, approving the MDR and HDR residential zoning districts. The MDR district allows single family development up to 7 units/acre, and the HDR district allows multi-family development up to 15 units/acre. Additional information about these districts can be found in the City's Comprehensive Plan Update.

            view file

For more information contact:
Jake Foster (City staff)   |   jfoster@lakeelmo.org   |   651-747-3908

View All Lake Elmo Actions

Mankato

Date action report first entered:   04/28/2013

Implementation details:
The City of Mankato has established R-3, Limited Multiple Family Dwelling, and R-4, Multiple Family Dwelling District adjacent to commercial zoning in several areas of the community. While current standard for City R-1, One-Family Dwelling District is 6.22 units/acre, higher-density developments near commercial uses, highway corridor, and major regional employers (Eastwood Industrial Park, River Hills Mall, etc.) are supporting additional housing options for the area.

Descriptive links: http://www.mankato-mn.gov/upload/contents/369/Mankato_Zoning.pdf

For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff)   |   mwestman@mankatomn.gov   |   507-387-8571

View All Mankato Actions

Maplewood

Date action report first entered:   02/23/2011
Date of last report update:   05/01/2015

Implementation details:
Maplewood has zoning districts that allow for higher density with neighborhood single-family density at six units per acre or greater, and allows for multi-family housing at a gross density of at least 15 units per acre adjacent to a commercial zoning district or transit center.

For more information contact:
Michael Martin (City staff)   |   michael.martin@maplewoodmn.gov   |   651-249-2303

View All Maplewood Actions

New Hope

Date action report first entered:   04/01/2015
Date of last report update:   11/19/2018
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   No

Implementation details:
The city's City Center (CC) zoning district allows 10-50 units per acre, and the Residential Business (R-B)and Residential Office (R-O) zoning districts allow up to 19 units per acre.

Descriptive links: https://library.municode.com/mn/new_hope/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=CD_ORD_CH4ZO

For more information contact:
Jeff Alger (City staff)   |   jalger@ci.new-hope.mn.us   |   763-531-5119

View All New Hope Actions

Rochester

Date action report first entered:   05/18/2011

Implementation details:
Rochester's default district on annexation is the R1-x District, which has a minimum single family lot size of 6000 square feet and which allows duplexes and townhouse development as permitted uses.

Outcome measures/metrics:
average density of new housing average lot size of new housing

Descriptive links: http://www.co.olmsted.mn.us/planning/ordinances/Documents/City%20Rochester/CityLDM.pdf

For more information contact:
Jeff Ellerbusch (City staff)   |   ellerbusch.jeff@CO.OLMSTED.MN.US   |   507-328-7132

View All Rochester Actions

Rosemount

Date action report first entered:   03/07/2012

Implementation details:
Rosemount's R-3 Medium Density Residential and R-4 High Density Residential zones allow single family densities of at least 6 units/acre. Rosemount's DT - Downtown is a mixed use district allowing residential, commercial and civic uses. It currently allows residential densities of up to 40 units/acre and will soon include a Minnesota Valley Transit Authority Park and Ride facility offering express bus service to downtown Minneapolis.

Descriptive links: http://tinyurl.com/7d5c9xk

For more information contact:
Anthony Nemcek (City staff)   |   anthony.nemcek@ci.rosemount.mn.us   |   651-322-2090

View All Rosemount Actions

Roseville

Date action report first entered:   07/17/2015
Date of last report update:   07/17/2015

Implementation details:
Roseville's HRA Strategic Plan allows up to 8 units per acre, in low density residential districts.

View All Roseville Actions

Saint Anthony

Date action report first entered:   05/05/2011

Implementation details:
The City has redeveloped several areas to higher densities. The City frequently uses the PUD process to combine land uses to encourage coexisting residential and commercial uses resulting in higher densities that exeed the 6 and 15 units per acre threshold in the GreenSteps program. The City ordenances refer to the PUD process to allow for these densities.

For more information contact:
Jay Hartman (City staff)   |   jay.hartman@ci.saint-anthony.mn.us   |   612-782-3314

View All Saint Anthony Actions

South Saint Paul

Date action report first entered:   04/28/2016
Date of last report update:   04/28/2016

Implementation details:
Attached is page 56 of the comprehensive plan (housing chapter) which states that a majority of South St. Paul's housing stock was developed at densities of 7.5 units per acre.

            view file

For more information contact:
Deb Griffith (City staff)   |   dgriffith@southstpaul.org   |   651-554-3230

View All South Saint Paul Actions

White Bear Lake

Date action report first entered:   01/24/2013

Implementation details:
Several older, existing, neighborhoods in White Bear Lake were built at 6.3, 6.5 and as much as 6.8 units per acre. The highest density, single-family zoning district, in the city is R-4 at 6 units per acre. The highest density, multi-family zoning district in the city is R-7 at up to 17 units per acre.

Outcome measures/metrics:
Zoning code can be found on city website.

Descriptive links: www.whitebearlake.org

For more information contact:
Connie Taillon (City staff)   |   ctaillon@whitebearlake.org   |   651-429-8564

View All White Bear Lake Actions

Woodbury

Date action report first entered:   04/23/2013

Implementation details:
In September 2012, the City Council adopted a density bonus policy stating the density increases consistent with the density bonus provisions of the 2030 Comprehensive Plan may be allowed if the proposed project incorporates at least one of the four policy objectives of: 1. Affordable housing and/or assisted living units 2. Greenway dedication 3. Sustainable design 4. Redevelopment of exception parcels. In the Urban Residential District of the City Code, Section 24-134(f)(3) lists 15 units/acre as the maximum for high density areas.

For more information contact:
Jennifer McLoughlin (City staff)   |   jmcloughlin@ci.woodbury.mn.us   |   651-714-3522

View All Woodbury Actions

La Prairie pending

Date action report first entered:   01/08/2016
Date of last report update:   01/08/2016

Implementation details:
Zoning Committee is revising the Zoning Ordinance to remove barriers to higher density housing.1/8/2016

For more information contact:
Jonathan Bolen (Elected official)   |   jbolen@laprairiemn.com   |   218-326-8898

View All La Prairie Actions

Lexington pending

Date action report first entered:   08/26/2015
Date of last report update:   09/28/2015

Implementation details:
Limited Barrie's to high density by the city rezoning

Descriptive links: BP 7 Action 2

For more information contact:
Peggy McNamara (City staff)   |   pmlexington@comcast.net   |   763-784-2792

View All Lexington Actions

pending means a star rating has not yet been assigned to this city


 
greenstep advisor
Brian Ross, Senior Communities Program Director, Great Plains Institute: 612/767-7296, bross@gpisd.net, https://www.betterenergy.org/who-we-are/staff-and-consultants/