Best Practice Action Detail

Best Practice Action 10.1

GreenStep City Best Practices: Land Use
Design for Natural Resource Conservation No. 10

Adopt development ordinances or processes that protect natural systems and valued community assets.

Best Practice Action 1

Conduct a Natural Resource Inventory or Assessment (NRI or NRA); incorporate protection of priority natural systems or resources such as groundwater through the subdivision or development process.

1 star Complete an NRI or NRA and use findings in the decision-making process when evaluating land use options. Report individual tree replacement ordinances in best practice action 16.5
2 star Adopt ordinance language that utilizes findings in the inventory/assessment; adopt an incentive for conservation design in your zoning or subdivision ordinance, in which at least 50% of developable land is permanently protected, or create a conservation design district that requires the use of conservation design practices such as permanent protection of high quality habitat/open space, explicit wildlife corridors.
3 star Create city-wide protections for natural systems/resources (e.g., groundwater, uplands, forest bats), such as mandatory natural resource design standards for priority natural resource and open space areas, or for rezonings of agricultural or other undeveloped land, require a finding of fact that undeveloped residential land in the city is insufficient to meet market demand.

Who's doing it

Bloomington - 3 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Hennepin County prepared a NRI for Bloomington in 2007. City adopted a Conservation zoning district and several natural resource-oriented overlay zoning districts to protect these resources.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Steve Gurney (City staff) | sgurney@BloomingtonMN.gov | 952-563-4606
Partners:
Golden Valley - 3 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Golden Valley conducted a natural resource inventory in 2003 and updated the inventory in 2013. Using information from the inventory, the City created its first Natural Resource Management Plan in the spring of 2015 that identified high and low quality areas and strategies for conservation and restoration of natural areas.

The City has created ordinances to preserve high quality natural areas during development and the natural resource management plan is referenced when evaluating development projects. The Planned Unit Development Ordinance (section 11.55 of the City Code) preserves and protects substantial desirable portions of sites including trees, scenic views, creeks, wetlands and open waters. The City’s Subdivision Regulations (section 12.30) allows the City to require a portion of a proposed subdivision to be dedicated to the public as a park, playground, public open space or storm water holding area or ponds (up to 10%).

The Floodplain Management Zoning Overlay District (section 11.60) protects the critically important floodplains of Bassett Creek and its tributaries from any development that would threaten the quality of the City’s water bodies or ground water infiltration, cause rapid runoff or increase periodic flooding resulting in loss of life and property.

The Shoreland Management Ordinance (section 11.65) prohibits the clear cutting of natural vegetation, and requires sufficient vegetative cover be left intact or restored to prevent runoff and soil erosion within critical shoreland areas.

In 2015, upon the recommendation of the Environmental Commission, an option and incentive was included in the Tree and Landscape Code to plant a larger massing of native grasses and wildflowers in developments as an alternative to traditional landscaping, where appropriate.
The Green Corridors concept in the Natural Resource Management Plan will be used to inform the 2018 comprehensive plan process and the review of land use and development proposals.
Outcome measures/metrics:
A total of 57.3 acres of native buffer have been mapped inside Golden Valley (25.2 of those acres are owned by the City and 32.1 acres are privately owned).
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Eric Eckman (City staff) | eeckman@goldenvalleymn.gov | 763-593-8084
Partners:
Inver Grove Heights - 3 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2008
Implementation details:
The Northwest Area Ordinance (2008) Ordinance states priority areas noted in the NRI (2003) should be consider when designating open space in a PUD. The Ordinance requires at least 20% of the PUD to be preserved for open space, of which 75% should be contiguous. It also required 50% of the open space to kept in a natural state with native vegetation.

The city-wide Stormwater Ordinance (2016) meets MS4 permit requirements. This requires infiltration of 1.0 inches for new developments in residential and commercial zones, and 3.6 inches in the Northwest Area. The City of Inver Grove Heights won the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) National Grand Award for accomplishing the City's zero runoff development goal in the Northwest Area (2015).

The City of Inver Grove Heights also enforces the MnDOT standard for bridge inspections to protect forest bats, and the 1991 Wetland Conservation Act to protect groundwater and natural resources.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Ally Hillstrom (City staff) | ahillstrom@invergroveheights.org | 651-604-8511
Partners:
Stillwater - 3 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2005
Implementation details:
In 2005 the Stillwater Annexation Area AUAR was completed, which studied and created a plan for the orderly and responsible development of land annexed from Stillwater Township. The management plan created from this emphasized protection of natural resources. In particular,
diverting storm water from the Annexation Area
away from Brown's Creek, a state-designated trout stream, to avoid impacts from development of the Annexation Area.

In the 2040 Comprehensive Plan the city makes recommendations for city code revisions for natural resource protection, such as requiring project proposers to identify all natural resource data from the NRI as part of the data submission for a project. This data could then be used to identify any necessary setbacks or alignments of potential greenway corridors.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Bill Turnblad (City staff) | bturnblad@ci.stillwater.mn.us | 651-430-8821
Partners:
Eagan - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Not complete.

City approved original Water Quality Management Plan in June 1990. Approved updated Water Quality & Wetland Management Plan on 7-17-07. Incoroprated wetland inventory, mapping, and assessment for purposes of classification. Classification determines level of avoidance, protection/buffer, or replacement, when allowed.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Eric MAcbeth (City staff) | emacbeth@cityofeagan.com | 651/675-5330
Partners:
Rosemount - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Rosemount conducted a Natural Resource Assessment in 2006. This assessment and associated map have been incorporated into the 2030 Comprehensive Plan. The City's Rural Residential land use and zoning regulations provide for the opportunity to protect the community's natural areas through cluster development in which at least 50% of the developable land is permanently protected.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Anthony Nemcek (City staff) | anthony.nemcek@ci.rosemount.mn.us | 651-322-2090
Partners:
Saint Anthony - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The City of St. Anthony denied rezoning of the previous boyscout camp to residential or commericial uses resulting in the newest Three Rivers Park Distric Park, Silverwood Park, their only park within the urban core and located in Ramsey County. Three Rivers has assesed the resources present at Silverwood Park and the Minneapolis Park Board has assesed their resources at Gross Golf Course. The remainder of the City is fully developed.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Jay Hartman (City staff) | jay.hartman@ci.saint-anthony.mn.us | 612-782-3314
Partners:
Saint Cloud - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
137 natural areas were inventoried and priortized as apart of the Environmentally Sensitive Areas Ordinance. This innovative ordinance helps protect land while allowing for development. Based on solid ecological information and written input from local developers, the ordinance is implemented by the City with the help of a local team of scientists. The success of the ordinance can be seen through the completion of over seventeen developments that balance protection yet see a return in investment.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Liz Kramer (City staff) | elizabeth.kramer@ci.stcloud.mn.us | 320-255-7226
Partners:
Sartell - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The city has an Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESA) Ordinance. The purpose of the ordinance is to encourage protection of properties which have sensitive features on them (wetlands, lakes, ponds, etc.)with a goal of protecting, preserving, and enhancing these natural resources. Through this ordinance the city established an Natural Resource Inventory. The inventory allows the city to identify those ESA areas and promote the protection of these areas while balancing the city's growth and Economic Development.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Nate Keller (City staff) | nate.keller@sartellmn.com | 320-258-7316
Partners:
Scandia - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
City has an Open Space Conservation Subdivision process that allows development while preserving woodlands and other habitats, natural resources corridors, agricultural land, open space and significant natural features identified in the Comprehensive Plan.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Neil Soltis (City staff) | n.soltis@ci.scandia.mn.us | 651-433-2274
Partners:
Winona - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2017
Implementation details:
City completed a street and park tree inventory in 2017. Ordinances protecting blufflands and shoreland are actively enforced.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Howard (City staff) | jhoward@ci.winona.mn.us | 507-457-8273
Partners:
Burnsville - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
In 1999, Burnsville created its first Natural Resource Master Plan, and
one of the first in all of the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area.
This progressive act set in motion programs and policies to protect
Burnsvilles natural resources, such as a prairie management plan, a
water resources management plan, and goose and deer management
policies, and initiated a policy to direct the private development of
remaining open space in an environmentally sound manner. The plan was updated in 2007. Continuous periodic updates to the plan will be made. Burnsville's Comprehensive Plan states that the city shall: "Implement and maintain the Natural Resources Master Plan, and maximize opportunities to preserve such resources by partnering with County, State, Regional, Federal and private programs."

Burnsville has a CD, CONSERVANCY DISTRICT. This is a zoning district established for the preservation of sensitive natural area and the protection and enhancement of wildlife habitat. The CD may be applied to either public or private land. Areas included in this district are unsuitable for residential, commercial, industrial and most institutional development, due to flooding, high water table, restrictive soil conditions, steep slopes, significant and valuable vegetation and/or wildlife habitat.
The FLOOD PLAIN DISTRICT is a district with regulations to minimize impacts to property
and life by managing and regulating development activities in designated floodplains on the
Flood Insurance Studies for Burnsville. There are three sub-districts the FW, Floodway District
(the channel of the Minnesota River); FF, Flood Fringe District (the portion of the floodplain that is outside of the floodway) and the GFP, General Flood Plain District (the lake bed and areas adjoining a wetland, lake or watercourse which have been or hereafter may be covered by the
regional flood).
The following Environmental Overlay Districts are part of the Zoning Ordinance and their
purpose is to protect environmentally sensitive areas within designated areas of the City:
Wetlands Overlay District: This district implements the 1991 Wetland Conservation Act and the accompanying rules of the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources and is intended to
conserve, protect, enhance, and result in the no net loss of wetlands in Burnsville. Additionally
the regulations promote the restoration of degraded wetlands.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Sue Bast (City staff) | basts@ci.burnsville.mn.us | 952-895-4524
Partners:
Cottage Grove - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
NRI completed in 1998. Our current comp. plan specifically states that natural resource areas identified as highest quality in the NRI should be given priority in access or preservation efforts and development impacts should be kept to a level that preserves the integrity of the resource.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Partners:
Elk River - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Bonestroo conducted a natural resource inventory and assessment in September of 2004 and finished in December.
Outcome measures/metrics:
The Wetland Buffer Ordinance was adopted as a result of the NRI in 2005. It is outlined in section 30-1850 of the city code.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
Partners:
Farmington - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The City prepared a NRI for the community in 2010 and it was approved in 2011. The NRI incorporated a landscape ordinance to preserve trees in subdivision developments.
Outcome measures/metrics:
The NRI has provided the Parks & Recreation department the ability to plan parks that meet the standards of the NRI.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Adam Kienberger (City staff) | akienberger@ci.farmington.mn.us | 651-280-6820
Partners:
Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Leech Lake Land Use Ordinance has an environmental checklist in place which is comparable to a Natural Resource Assessment.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Brandy Toft (City staff) | air@lldrm.org | 218-335-7429
Partners:
Northfield - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Council approved to receive and adopt the findings of the 2005 Natural Resource Inventory. This can be found in motion M2005-0120.
Outcome measures/metrics:
This document is used in the decision making process when evaluating land use options.
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Beth Kallestad (City staff) | beth.kallestad@ci.northfield.mn.us | 507-645-3074
Partners:
Red Wing - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The city adopted an Open Space Preservation Plan in 2008 as an ammendment to the City Comprehensive Plan. (http://www.red-wing.org/comprehensiveplan.html)
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Paul Drotos (City staff) | paul.drotos@ci.red-wing.mn.us | 651-410-6744
Partners:
Richfield - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
In 2008, the City completed its Natural Resources Inventory.

Neither the Zoning Code nor its subdivision section have minimum standards for the protection of high quality open space. However, virtually all of the natural areas and high quality open spaces are already protected in public parks.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amy Markle (City staff) | amarkle@richfieldmn.gov | 612-861-9394
Partners:
Saint Louis Park - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The city, through Hennepin County, conducted and received our Natural Resource inventory which we base natural resource decisions on. The entire inventory can be found in about internal computer drive within SLP organization; too large to include as file here.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Increase in natural resourced base initiatives and projects within specified resource areas.
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Emily Ziring (City Staff) | eziring@stlouispark.org | 952-924-2191
Partners: Hennepin County
Woodbury - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
A Natural Resources Inventory of the yet undeveloped portions of Woodbury was completed in 1997. A total of 32 sites were analyzed. Within the next year, an Open Space Committee comprised of members of city commissions, residents at large, and a City Council member studied all the sites and developed a recommended preservation plan for each area, ranging from protection through conservation easements, acquisition through park dedication during the development process, or outright city acquisition. This preservation plan became the basis for successful open space referendums held in 1998 and 2005. Out of the 32 total sites (as of May 2013), 13 have been purchased or obtained through the development process in whole or in part. One additional site is protected through a conservation easement. While most parcels identified for purchase have been acquired, City staff continues to look for opportunities to add open space lands as development occurs.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Jennifer McLoughlin (City staff) | jmcloughlin@ci.woodbury.mn.us | 651-714-3522
Partners:
Eden Prairie - Pending
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
NRI and NRA completed, have not incorporated into a subdivision or development process.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Tania Mahtani (City staff) | tmahtani@edenprairie.org | 952-949-8413
Partners: