Adopt environmentally preferable covenant guidelines for new common interest communities addressing issues such as stormwater, greywater, native vegetation, growing food, clothes lines, electric vehicle charging, and renewable energy.
Common interest communities are condominium associations, homeowner associations, housing cooperatives and the like. Cities can adopt guidelines governing the content of these homeowner covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&R) or other forms of deed restrictions to ensure that they allow, for example, installation of rain gardens, prairie grasses, pollinator-friendly landscaping, clothes lines, and renewable energy technologies.
Guidelines allow native vegetation, raingardens and renewable energy installations.
Guidelines allow larger-scale food production areas.
Guideliness allow greywater reuse; dividing large houses into multi-family units.
Who's doing it
Detroit Lakes - 1 star
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The City of Detroit Lakes is a regulated MS4 permittee, which requires an in-depth SWPP (Storm Water Prevention Plan). The MS4 permit requires annual reporting and best practice implementation. The City of Detroit Lakes issues Land Disturbance Permits and inspects related activities within the City limits to ensure compliance to stormwater rules and requirements. The City is regulated by the Pelican River Watershed District, which also regulates stormwater runoff.
The City of Inver Grove Heights has adopted a Northwest Area Zoning Ordinance (2008) that promotes Low Impact Development (LID), or green infrastructure, in Northwest Area development projects. This requires at least 20% of a PUD to be preserved as open space/natural areas, and at least 50% of the required natural area should be kept in a natural state with native vegetation. The City of Inver Grove Heights has also adopted a Vertical Access Wind Turbine Ordinance (2013), allowing wind turbines in specified zoning districts.
City zoning code has design and performance standards that "are designed to prevent and eliminate those conditions which depreciate property values that cause blight or are detrimental to the environment" (Zoning Code 154.126-0). The code also has a section on solar panel requirements (154.394). We also have a dedication section of the code pertaining to Alternative Energy Systems (154.391)
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Through implementing these codes we have seen addition permits for solar panels as well as native plantings in many developments. Most recently our new Community Education Recreation Center has installed over 3 acres of native plantings in the front yard.
According to the Unified Development Code 50-19, all urban residential zones allow multifamily dwellings. For food production, community gardens are permitted uses in all urban residential zones, and urban agriculture is allowed with a special use permit. Energy generation in the form of solar, wind, or geothermal are permitted uses in all urban residential zones.
The city of Maplewood has a collection program for residents where city employees will remove cleared buckthorn that has been cleared and placed on the curbside for removal during certain times of the year. There are volunteer groups as well as hotlines organized by the Maplewood Nature Center and Ramsey county to report invasive species located within Maplewood. Rain garden information is available from the city as well as the Nature Center.
The Partners in Energy program rolling out in May 2015 will have an aspect that will engage residents by creating an energy challenge. This challenge will allow people to utilize resources to create change in the way energy is used at the resident level.
There are community gardens within Maplewood for residents located in Edgerton Park. This area allows for larger scale local food production.
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Link to Maplewood Rain Gardens:
Link to Maplewood Partners in Energy:
Link to Maplewood Community Gardens: