Best Practice Action Detail

Best Practice Action 9.4

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 4

Adopt development policies for large-format developments, zoning for auto-oriented commercial districts at the sub-urban edge and/or in tightly defined and smaller urban development corridors/nodes that have some bike/walk/transit access.

  • See the Highway Commercial District ordinance from Minnesota's 2009 Model Ordinances for Sustainable Development.
  • Model overlay ordinance from the MN Dept. of Transportation.
  • See the Adequate Public Facilities ordinance, most appropriate for cities outside of or on the fringe of metropolitan areas, from Minnesota's 2009 Model Ordinances for Sustainable Development.
  • While some cities nationwide have placed bans or size caps on large format retail developments, Ferndale, WA established, by ordinance, a three-pronged approach to retail development, including big-box stores, which includes a scorecard called EAGLE (Energy efficiency, Advanced technologies, Greater good, Low impact, Economic development).
  • For example, the agreement between Inver Grove Heights and WalMart states that if the store closes, WalMart has three years to remarket the store or return the site to its pre-development condition.
  • During 2016 the Minnesota-based organization Strong Towns crowd-sourced a database on tax productivity of big box stores and posted articles on how to rethink big box stores as, for example, points of social leverage and locations for recharging electric vehicles.
  • The large size of suburban commercial developments can facilitate low-impact development, such as near-zero run-off at Argenta Hills, a 120-acre commercial and residential site in Inver Grove Heights.
1 star Adopt zoning language that defines auto-oriented land uses and limits such a zoning district to the sub-urban edge; adopt a size cap; require decommissioning in the zoning district or with the development agreement for vacant big box developments; plan for at least 1 EV charging station.
2 star Complement an auto-oriented commercial zoning district in the sub-urban zone with commercial/mixed-use zoning districts in the urban zone that can rely on bike/walk/transit access and that prohibit, or severely restrict, auto-oriented land uses; require a decommissioning bond to be posted as a condition of rezoning, subdivision, or building permit for chain-specific big-box developments.
3 star Adopt an adequate public facilities ordinance that stages commercial development concurrently with infrastructure and residential or transit expansion; adopt a scorecard system for big-box approval that covers economic, environmental and social dimensions; ban big-box development.

Who's doing it

Big Lake - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2005
Implementation details:
The City steers most auto-oriented uses towards our B-3 General Business Zoning District. Our B-2 district, which is mostly the old downtown, prohibits some of the more objectionable auto-oriented uses. Our draft Land Use Plan calls for the establishment of a “Town Center” Zoning District. This Town Center Zoning District is proposed to have a blanket prohibition on auto-oriented uses (gas stations, auto repair, drive throughs, etc.). Our Downtown Design Standards set design goals for a huge swath of our community including areas that are fairly auto-oriented.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Michael Healy (City staff) | mhealy@biglakemn.org | 763-251-2977
Partners:
Burnsville - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Burnsville has a highway commercial district. Please see attached document. Burnsville is 98% developed and has always implemented Comprehensive Planning and Capital Improvements Planning.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Sue Bast (City staff) | basts@ci.burnsville.mn.us | 952-895-4524
Partners:
Elk River - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The City of Elk River has adopted a highway commercial district. It is described in section 30-1024 of the city code. The purpose of the C-3 highway commercial district is to recognize the need for commercial establishments on or serving with immediate access to major highways. Permitted land uses should take advantage of the highway access in a manner which other business districts are not afforded. It closely follows D-F of the model ordinance.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
Partners:
Hastings - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The existing C-2 – Highway Auto Highway Specialized Commerce District has been implemented.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Hinzman (City staff) | jhinzman@hastingsmn.gov | 651-480-2378
Partners:
Pierz - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2017
Implementation details:
Pierz has updated the zoning map for both a Community Commercial district and Highway Commercial district. The purpose of the Community Commercial district states: It is the intent of this district to provide for the establishment of commercial and service activities, which draw from, and serve customers from the community and its surrounding areas. And the purpose of the Highway Commercial district states: It is the intent of this district to provide for and limit the establishment of automobile oriented or dependent commercial and service activities. Both have permitted uses and potential conditional uses that are specific to those districts.
Outcome measures/metrics:
This has helped ensure that Pierz has separate districts that have the proper infrastructure for the desired businesses and that people who frequent those businesses are able to easily access all common businesses within those districts.
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Kari Tyson (City staff) | karit@pierzmn.org | 320-468-6471
Partners:
Richfield - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Four limited access freeways run adjacent to or through the City (I-494, I-35W, Hwy 62, and Hwy 77). Although the historic development pattern in the vicinity of freeway access ramps has been auto-oriented, the City's Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Code calls for mixed use and medium-to-high-density residential along the I-494 corridor consistent with the adopted "I-494 Corridor Master Plan."
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amy Markle (City staff) | amarkle@richfieldmn.gov | 612-861-9394
Partners:
Rochester - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Rochester and Olmsted County have implemented access management ordinances.
c. Adequate Public Facilities ordinance that stages highway commercial development concurrently with infrastructure expansion. Rochester has implemented adopted an adequate public facilities standard as part of its Zoning Ordinance and Land Development Manual. http://www.ci.rochester.mn.us/departments/planning_zoning/chapter64/64130ADEQUATEPUBLICFACILITIESSTANDARDS.asp
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Jeff Ellerbusch (City staff) | ellerbusch.jeff@CO.OLMSTED.MN.US | 507-328-7132
Partners:
Roseville - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The city's zoning code has design standards that limit auto use. The Comprehensive Plan states in the Land Use section that the policy is to promote and support transit oriented development and redevelopment near existing and future transit corridors. A further goal is to consider increased densities in new residential developments to reduce housing costs and attract transit oriented development.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Ryan Johnson (City staff) | Ryan.johnson@cityofroseville.com | 651-792-7049
Partners:
Saint Cloud - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The City of St. Cloud adopted the C-5 Highway Commercial Zoning District as a part of the Land Development Code. The purpose of the Highway Commercial District is to provide an area of service facilities to the motoring public adjacent to arterial traffic routes as defined in the Comprehensive Transportation Plan.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Liz Kramer (City staff) | elizabeth.kramer@ci.stcloud.mn.us | 320-255-7226
Partners:
Duluth - Pending
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2018
Implementation details:
The most recent Comprehensive Plan completely removed the previously used "Auto-Oriented Commercial" land use and reclassified these areas primarily into Neighborhood Mixed Use, Central Business, and Neighborhood Commercial in an attempt to move away from auto-oriented land use and encourage more mixed-use and compact development. The majority of the Mixed Use-Commercial zones -which include traditional retail such as malls and big box stores-are located on the outskirts of the city along the main highway corridors.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Adam Fulton (City staff) | afulton@hermantownmn.com | 218-729-3618
Partners: