Best Practice Action Detail

Best Practice Action 9.3

GreenStep City Best Practices Land Use
Efficient Highway- and Auto-Oriented Development No. 9

Adopt commercial development and design standards for auto-oriented development corridors and clusters.

Best Practice Action 3

Adopt infrastructure design standards that protect the economic and ecologic functions of the highway corridor through clustering of development, plantings and incorporating access management standards.

  • The Minnesota organization Strong Towns urges design distinctions among highways (roads), streets and county/park roads. A road is an efficient connection between two populated places: high speed and safe (due to limited access). It is a replacement for the railroad: a road on rails. In contrast, streets maximize the value of the adjacent development pattern in neighborhoods (commercial, residential) and are slow and share space with other modes of transport. Country or park roads are narrow and/or gravel and cheaper to maintain. A STROAD is an expensive street/road hybrid to be avoided: travel at 30-50 MPH does not move cars efficiently, is less safe, and can diminish adjacent property values: in town, drivers move too fast to stop and shop, out of town cars move too slow and drivers find alternative routes.
  • The walkable multi-way boulevard is a road design technique for reconfiguring strip mall parking to keep parking in front, typically in more urban settings.
  • Access management is the planning, design and implementation of land use and transportation strategies in an effort to maintain a safe flow of traffic while accommodating the access needs of adjacent development. See also MnDOT's new Corridor Investment Management Strategy that brings MnDOT together with its local, modal, and state partners to identify opportunities for collaborative and innovative investment.
  • Context sensitive design resources from the Center for Transportation Studies at the University of MN.
  • Lakeland Shores, MN, for example, uses 3 serial roundabouts along a highway-oriented commercial district.
  • Conservation Buffers: Design Guidelines for Buffers, Corridors, and Greenways (USDA, 2008).
  • See the PlantSelector tool for roadside planting, living snow fence resources, and a highway sponsorship program – structuring public-private partnerships to support environmental sustainability and improved aesthetics in state rights-of-way – from the MN Dept. of Transportation.
  • The MN Dept. of Natural Resources' Roadsides for Wildlife Program provides many resources to help community stewards plant native prairie wildflowers and grass seed along rural roads.
1 star Adopt an access management overlay district or access management standards where highways access auto-oriented commercial development; install/work with others on pollinator habitat, other plantings, and living snow fences.
2 star Achieve 1 Star rating AND define auto-oriented commercial zoning districts in clusters rather than continuous strips; minimize superblocks and increase quality pedestrian passages between buildings.
3 star Include conservation buffer requirements and site residential areas and vulnerable populations more than 650 feet from a major road (average annual daily traffic count over 40,000).

Who's doing it

Burnsville - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Burnsville adopted the North Gateway Design Standards to guide development along highway corridors that serve as the gateway to Burnsville. Redevelopment guidelines were also developed for the area of the city located south of the Minnesota River, east of the City of Savage border, west of I-35W and north of Highway 13.

Burnsville also underwent a study of Highway Corridor 13 to analyze future traffic in this area.


Burnsville's Gateway District classification was developed and incorporated into the 2000 Comprehensive Plan and the corresponding Gateway District Overlay zone was established. Development within this classification is subject to the "Burnsville North Gateway Design Guidlines" manual that can be found the Burnsville Website at www.burnsville.org. The classification applies to lands located noth of Highway 13 and along both sides of Interstate 35W which is the northern gateway entrance to the city. The purpose of the Gateway District is to reflect there is a steadfast and ongoing commitment to the tranformation from intense land altering industrial activity to future land uses and activities that thrive in sustainable relationships with restored natural resources systems. The deisgn standards outlined in the BUrnsville North Gateway District Design Guidelines provide site design, architectural building treatments, landscaping and storm water treatment and are intended to provide a framework for evaluating projects to ensure that they contribute to a positive image for the District as land redevelops over time.

The Minnesota River Quadrant (MRQ) is a special district that was added in the 2030 Comrehensive Plan Update Land Use Guide Plan. This classification has been created to reflect the unique, long-term redevelopment vision for the area of the city located south of the Minnesota River, east of the City of Savage border, west of I-35W and north of Highway 13. The land use plan provides goals, policies and objectives for the area. The plan was developed to promote the redevelopment of the MRQ in the following ways: (1) To utilize the MRQ Concept Development Plan as a tool to guide redevelopment activities, reclaim the river front, improve public access and enjoyment of natural areas, support business and employment expansion, improve transportation and circulation withing MRQ and to link other areas of Burnsville. (2) Encourage development of..... energy efficient operations with the MRQ. (3) Continue to partner with property owners to develop the MRQ as a regional recreation and employment center for Burnsville and the south metro.
Outcome measures/metrics:
The attachment includes the following:

(1)Highway 13 Corridor Study
(2) MRQ and North Gateway Future Land Use Guide Plan (highlighted areas)
(3) North Gateway Design Standards

Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Sue Bast (City staff) | basts@ci.burnsville.mn.us | 952-895-4524
Partners:
Elko New Market - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Access management standards where highways access auto-oriented commercial development is highlighted in the city's 2030 transportation plan and related comprehensive plan. The transportation and comprehensive plan also define auto-oriented commercial zoning districts by planning to group them into clusters, minimize transit "superblocks" and increase pedestrian passageways not just between buildings, but city-wide in general.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Mark Nagel (City staff) | mnagel@ci.enm.mn.us | 952-461-2777
Partners: Met Council, Bolton & Menk Engineers and Surveyors
Apple Valley - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
City policies that have been in place since the early 1990s created a destination-oriented Downtown commercial center with the core being the intersection of County Road 42 and Cedar Avenue. The city has focused commercial development in this area, with supporting neighborhood commercial developments in other defined areas. Typical highway commercial development is discouraged. The City participated with Dakota County and other stakeholders in a multi-year effort to implement bus rapid transit (BRT) along the Cedar Avenue corridor. The combined transit and highway improvement process involved context-sensitive design principals.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Charless Grawe (City staff) | CGrawe@ci.apple-valley.mn.us | 952-953-2508
Partners:
Austin - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Clustering hwy: Cook Farm

Context-sensitive: 18th Ave NW
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Janet Anderson (Community volunteer) | janetanderson2840@gmail.com | 5072190680
Partners: Craig Hoium
Cottage Grove - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Cottage Grove abides by the MnDOT access management guidlines on trunk highway 61 corridor. The City is also currently working on an agreement with Washington County on an access management map to identify all access points to county roadways. Utilizing the Comprehensive Plan and East Ravine Study as an underlying guidance along with county policy on access management.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Ryan Burfeind (City staff) | rburfeind@cottage-grove.org | 651-458-2899
Partners:
Red Wing - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Stormwater management systems (ponds, swales, infiltration basins, etc) are constructed along highway corridors. Tree buffers are preserved where possible and land disturbance during construction is minimized.

Hwy 61 had an access mgmt study through MNDOT - The study encourages higher density development. One of the central elements of the city's comprehensive plan focuses new development in already existing activity centers. (http://www.red-wing.org/comprehensiveplan.html)

We have adopted a complete streets policy that ensures all users of road corridors (vehicles, bikers, pedestrians, transit, etc.) are considered during the design process. The city makes every effort to listen to the stakeholders and interested citizens to develop projects that are safe, feasible and meet the needs of the public.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Paul Drotos (City staff) | paul.drotos@ci.red-wing.mn.us | 651-410-6744
Partners:
Rochester - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
a. Improve the ecologic functions of land adjacent to highway corridors.
Subdivision 1. Purpose and Intent. The City of Rochester finds that trees and especially shade trees along streets provide numerous community benefits including:
1. Economic stability through enhanced property values, improved property marketability, and as a component of city infrastructure;
2. Energy savings by reducing the urban heat island impacts, and reduced building heating and cooling costs;
3. Health benefits through an increased sense of community, mental comfort, traffic safety, traffic calming, and support of a walkable community;
4. Aesthetic values for residential and commercial areas;
5. The amelioration of noise and glare;
6. Air pollution reduction through removal of atmospheric chemicals including greenhouse gases and particulate matter; and
7. Protection of water quality and enhancing stormwater control.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Nate Stanley (City staff) | Nstanley@hopkinsmn.com | 952-548-6356
Partners:
Roseville - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The Transportation section of the Comphrehensive Plan (2030) focuses on design that includes access management guidelines which address highway, economic and ecological functions of the corridor along with clustering of development.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Ryan Johnson (City staff) | Ryan.johnson@cityofroseville.com | 651-792-7049
Partners:
Shoreview - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City will continue to participate in the Highway 49 Taskforce and to encourage Ramsey County to construct improvements that integrate needed vehicular capacity, safety, and pedestrian and bicycle friendly design features.

Shoreview has some residential neighborhoods along the arterials. The coexistence of a heavily traveled road next to low intensity residential land uses needs to be considered in the overall design of these corridors as the roadways are improved to ensure the long term viability of these land uses. In those instances where these low intensity uses may not make sense in the long term, roadway design should consider transitional or higher intensity uses.

Expansion of the trail network can improve connections to the regional trail system, public facilities, commercial nodes, transit facilities, and neighborhoods. The City will evaluate development proposals and require trail and walkways improvements as deemed necessary to expand the network. Highway 96 is an example of context sensitive design.

Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Ellen Brenna (City staff) | ebrenna@shoreviewmn.gov | 651-490-4665
Partners:
Woodbury - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Woodbury has worked with Washington County and MnDot in order to develop long-range plans for access management along all major highways/roadways. Spacing requirements for access allows for efficient intersections and efficient roadway expenditures with sufficient and convenient access. Also right of way and building setbacks are such that future expansion needs can be met if and when traffic volumes require capacity increases on the adjoining corridor.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Jennifer McLoughlin (City staff) | jmcloughlin@ci.woodbury.mn.us | 651-714-3522
Partners: