Fragmentation and other aspects of protecting and enhancing natural system functioning - such as providing wildlife corridors and habitat to enhance local biodiversity - are addressed in Natural Resources Performance Standards in the 2009 Minnesota Model Ordinances for Sustainable Development. See also state pollinator resources from the MN Dept. of Natural Resources.
For cities adjacent to undeveloped land, establish a growth area with staging criteria that reflects projected population growth (projected no more than ten years in the future) and, if applicable, is subject to an orderly annexation agreement and planned extension of municipal services. OR, conduct a natural resource inventory (NRI) and incorporate the results into your comprehensive plan or long-term city vision. Report adoption of an urban growth boundary under action 10.2; ag/forest preservation zoning under action 27.1
Prioritize the NRI results through a natural resource assessment (NRA) involving the public so as to minimize the fragmentation and development of agricultural, forest, wildlife, pollinator habitat, and high quality open space lands in and around the city.
Identify priority natural resource protection areas in the comp plan and recommend strategies for integrating protection into the development process.
Who's doing it
Burnsville - 3 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Burnsville has conducted an NRI and the results are incorporated in the Natural Environment Plan of the Comprehensive Plan (Ch. VI). The results of the NRI are prioritized through an NRA. Natural resource protection areas have been identified and strategies for their long-term protection have been developed (Ch. VI, Section 4 Natural Resources Management Plan).
Page 131 of Duluth's Comprehensive Land Use Plan describes the design of the conceptual staging map, which separates developable land into three categories based on the order in which the city wishes to develop it. The highest priority is infill of previously developed land; order of development is designed to "retain the integrity of the City's green infrastructure".
In 2002, the City of Faribault conducted a Natural Resources Inventory (NRI). The Comprehensive Plan took information from the NRI into consideration when planning for use and preservation of environmental resources. Greenway and habitat corridors were identified and highlighted as areas to be maintained and specific policies outlining environmental resource use and preservation were created.
The City updated its 2002 natural resource inventory in 2013 and used it to develop a Natural Resource Management Plan (NRMP) which was adopted in 2015. The NRMP incorporated feedback from a survey that was distributed to residents which included questions about level of satisfaction with the quality of nature areas and open spaces and what changes could be made to improve and protect them.
The 2040 comprehensive plan, to be adopted in 2018, will incorporate the NRMP into the Parks and Open Space chapter which will identify natural resource protection areas and recommend strategies for integrating protection into the development process as well as utilizing the NRMP to evaluate land management decisions made by the City.
The 2030 Comprehensive Plan (2010) promotes Low Impact Development (LID) in the Northwest Area. As development continues in this area, the Comprehensive Plan states that opportunities for expanding open space areas should be explored and that open space preservation is needed to protect existing natural resources identified and prioritized in the Northwest Area’s NRI (2003). The Northwest Area Ordinance (2008) requires at least 20% of a PUD to be preserved as open space/natural areas, and at least 75% of this open space area to be contiguous. Additional, at least 50% of the PUD’s required natural area should be kept in a natural state with native vegetation.
Chapter 6 discusses the importance of open spaces to the city of Maplewood's natural beauty and what measure the city is taking to protect and preserve these areas.
Chapter 7 of the comprehensive plan discusses the environmental impacts that the city has on the local flora and fauna, it also discusses measures that are currently in use or proposed to minimize fragmentation and re-establish growth areas.
Sartell has an Environmentally Sensitive ordinance which outlays areas included under the Natural Resource Inventory setting forth areas subject to additional protection/regulation (E.g. woodlands).Sartell also has an orderly annexation agreement with LeSauk Township and Sauk Rapids Township which includes a map of the areas subject to the agreement. Another map is included in the Comprehensive Plan which shows the primary and secondary growth areas of the City charting a course for future development.
The 2030 Comprehensive Plan addresses this in the Parks Trails and Open Space section, 8-8. In 1997, the city conducted an NRI that evaluated and ranked natural resources according to quality. In 1998, voters approved a $5 million bond issue for preservation of open space. Over 300 acres of open space was acquired through this initiative. In 2005, voters approved a second $9 million bond issue that included $6 million for the preservation of recreational open space.
The City also adopted a Greenway Corridor Policy 9/26/12. The city’s greenway corridor plan strives to identify and connect Woodbury’s natural systems and areas.
The City of Bloomington has a MN River Valley Strategic plan and contracted Great River Greening to develop a MN River Valley Natural Resources plan. The plan inventories the MN River Valley's ecological features and the Planning Department and Sustainability Commission are currently reviewing the plan to set priorities for maintenance, enhancement and restoration.
The City Council recognizes that it is essential to the health, safety, and general welfare of the citizens of the City of Isanti that the character and quality of the natural environment be of major importance in the planning and development of the City, both now and into the future. The preservation of land for public use as parks (active and passive), recreational facilities, playgrounds, trails, wetlands, natural and scenic areas, and public open spaces; are essential for maintaining a healthful and desirable environment for the citizens of the community. The City must provide these amenities, to not only present residents, but future residents that may choose to live, work, and recreate within the community. It is recognized by the City Council that the need for these amenities and natural areas are directly related to the density and intensity of population and development permitted within the City. Increased population, intensity of uses, and the types of development permitted result in greater demands for these types of amenities and facilities. To disregard these principles would result in the deterioration of public spaces, facilities, and the natural environment; which would diminish the quality of life that residents have come to expect within the community.
Isanti has 206 acres of park land, recreation and natural resource areas within City limits; there are also over 29 miles of trails and walkways
The Parks and Recreation section of the City’s Comprehensive Plan speaks specifically to open spaces and natural-resources protection. The exact language says:
3.10. Pursue opportunities and partnerships to acquire land specifically for
open space and natural-resource protection, especially:
• Areas containing species included on the State or Federal list of
endangered or threatened species;
• Areas representing significant landforms, native plant
communities, or sensitive habitat;
• Areas that connect existing components of the open-space
• Areas adjacent to existing parkland/open space.
In the 2030 Comprehensive Plan Chapter 3- Natural Resources the first goal stated is to create a natural resource open space system that preserves protects or restores environmental resources within the city.
In The 2030 Comprehensive Plan it calls to maintain inventory of all ravines and remnant lands in the existing city and develop a policy regarding ravine management that balances ravine usage amongst natural resource protection, public utility and open space/recreation opportunities.
The 2030 Comprehensive Plan further talks about how the city can use the NRI information as a basis for updating its current environmental ordinances as necessary, or for developing new approaches for protecting and enhancing its natural resources from future growth, changes in land use, and development of infrastructure.
Chapter 7 of the City of Winona's comprehensive plan addresses environmental protection. There are four specific goals and objectives to chapter 7: Protect key resources, maintain and enhance open space connections, protect water quality and aquatic resources, and to foster stewardship. All these goals further ecological protection.
The comprehensive plan goals are expressed through a bluffland protection ordinance (City Code 43.02.32 Bluffland Protection Overlay District) that protects the natural bluffs from development.
Terms regarding the development of land and growth area with staging criteria that reflects projected population growth are provided per the terms of an orderly annexation agreement. The Comp Plan does list natural resource protection areas, such as the Vermillion River Watershed
The City recently approved the Memorial Park Master Plan. Over the years the park has suffered ecological degradation as invasive species have proliferated. A strong piece of this plan is to design a program for ongoing maintenance of invasive species. Certain areas of the park are specially marked to preserve unique plant species. Different kinds of plants have been identified in the plan. Invasive cattail has also been addressed.
The City has been awarded a grant to start implementing the master plan
The 2008 Comprehensive Plan's purpose section points 2 and 3 address growth and the environment. Also of use are the ecological sites map(2.3) and the future land use map with transportation overlay (6.2).
(4) The City of New Brighton’s Comprehensive Plan includes a chapter on Environmental Protection. This includes an inventory of natural features and patterns throughout the community, including lakes and wetlands, topography, waterways and drainage ditches, natural communities and rare species, tree canopy, and utilization of the Minnesota Land Cover Classification System. Beyond inventory of these areas, the City’s Comprehensive Plan outlines storm water protection programs, including NPDES and MS4, and many public education and outreach programs and initiatives
With the 1998 Comprehensive Plan update, the city reduced its front and rear setback requirements to expand the building envelope of its single-family lots and promote in-place home expansions and reinvestment in the city's housing stock.
The 2040 Comprehensive Plan supports in-place industrial and commercial expansion and the redevelopment of obsolete sites. It supports the expansion of senior living facilities in the city, such as St. Therese, North Ridge, and Good Samaritan.
The 2040 Comprehensive Plan promotes sensitive land use and development patterns that contribute toward achieving Minnesota’s adopted greenhouse gas emission goals at the regional scale and to develop local resiliency to the impacts of climate change.
The Comprehensive Plan is based on the concept of preserving the green infrastructure. The Open Space Preservation Plan uses the idea of minimizing the fragmentation of open space as a major element in its recommendations. Red Wing's approach is to infill "major activity areas" prior to expanding into new urban growth areas. (http://www.red-wing.org/comprehensiveplan.html)
a. Minimize the fragmentation and development of agricultural, forest, wildlife, and high quality open space lands in and around the city. The Comprehensive Plan includes growth guidelines that explicitly address preservation of resource uses including agriculture, forestry, and wildlife habitat.
b. For cities adjacent to undeveloped land, establish a growth area with staging criteria that reflects projected population growth and, if applicable, is subject to an orderly annexation agreement and planned extension of municipal services. The Comprehensive Plan has (since 1978) identified and protected an urban growth area, the size of which has been tied to projected urban population and employment growth.
c. Establish policies with numerical targets to reduce vehicle miles traveled. The Comprehensive Plan addresses reducing per capita vehicle miles of travel through shifts to non-SOV modes, continued emphasis on compact development, and mixed use development. With the population and employment growth experienced by Rochester over the past decades (growing the equivalent of three cities the size of Red Wing since 1980), an absolute decline in total VMT may be unrealistic. The numerical target for per capita VMT reduction is under development.
Rosemount's 2030 Comprehensive Plan explicitly aim to minimize open space fragmentation and establish a growth area with expansion criteria in Chapter 6 (Environment and Natural Resources) and Chapter 7 (Land Use).
Chapter 9 of the City’s 2005 Comprehensive Plan addresses the environment. This chapter includes a strategy to “create natural corridors that link environmentally sensitive areas, habitat, streams and river, trails, institutions, parkland and neighborhoods” with the goal to “protect, conserve and enhance natural resources and environmental features within the city and its planned growth areas for the community’s long-term environmental and economic benefits.”
The Comprehensive Plan includes by reference the City's Parks and Open Space Plan and its 2020 Vision for Parks and Open Space. The City implements this individually and in cooperation with other agencies including the Dakota County Greenway project and similar programs.
Transit availability has been increased; City works with Dakota County and Minnesota Valley Transit Authority (MVTA) and other agencies to plan for and provide transit opportunities and expansion of services, including Cedar Avenue Bus Rapid Transit Corridor and Robert Street Corridor Transit Study. City approved Community Transportation Trail System Policy 12-13-04. GreenSteps encourages written policies with numerical targets. With a detailed policy and documented actions, the City Council complete this best practice.
Pages 14-24 of Stacy's Comprehensive Plan describe staging criteria for undeveloped land that reflects the projected population growth. On page 24 the Carlos Avery Wildlife area is identified as a priority natural resource protection area that will not be developed.