Best Practice Action Detail

Best Practice Action 10.2

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 2

For cities outside or on the fringe of metropolitan areas, conduct a build-out analysis, fiscal impact study, or adopt an urban growth boundary and a consistent capital improvement plan that provides long-term protection of natural resources and natural systems, and agricultural practices outside the boundary.

  • A Municipal Fiscal Impact tool has been developed by the University of Minnesota's Center for Urban and Regional Affairs and is available for cities interested in further piloting its use. The model estimates the short-term and long-term fiscal impacts on local governments of new development or redevelopment. See also the Fiscal Impact Analysis Policies in Rural Communities toolkit (Smart Growth American: 2017) to better understand the revenue and costs that come with new development and to see a model policy that rural communities can use to create a Fiscal Impact Analysis Policy of their own.
  • Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance from the 2009 Minnesota Model Ordinances for Sustainable Development.
  • Build-out analysis tools from Sustainable Jersey allow a city to estimate the amount and the location of houses, commercial/industrial square footage, and population that could result if all the net undeveloped but buildable land within a community or a specified area is developed under current land-use regulations. This estimate is critical to determining whether that level of development is sustainable over the long term.
1 star Identify an urban growth boundary on the zoning map and adopt rezoning and annexation requirements that require consistency with capital improvements plan (concurrency ordinance). Report adoption of growth areas with expansion criteria under action 6.4
2 star Adopt an urban growth boundary, accompanying CIP, and collaborate (based on a joint powers agreement) with adjacent township or county to restrict development in sensitive natural areas and urban reserve areas.
3 star Work with adjacent communities to incorporate a cost of public services study/build-out analysis as part of capital improvements planning, and adopt zoning and subdivision standards that consistently protect natural systems that cross jurisdictions.

Who's doing it

Rochester - 3 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Rochester, and Olmsted county were early adopters of urban growth boundaries, and protecting natural resources. The county adopted their first land use plan in 1979. This laid a strong foundation of protection for Rochester and the surrounding cities and communities of Olmsted County.
"The 1978 Plan had four major themes guiding the development of the Plan map and
the various implementation strategies, including
• concentrating development,
• protecting agriculture,
• protecting the natural environment, and
• providing for a wide range of choice in residential location"

The Plan was revised in 1995 and set more goals
"Wisely use the energy resources, urban systems, and land area of Olmsted County
by concentrating urban and suburban development and by creating an orderly
pattern of development (sustainable and efficient). 2. Encourage practices and technologies that maximize efficiency of resource use and
minimize waste (sustainable, habitable, and efficient). 3. Preserve the natural and cultural resources that provide a “sense of place” for the
county (beautiful and sustainable). 4. Ensure that growth pays for itself; incorporate long-term costs and benefits into the
community decision-making process (sustainable, competitive, equitable, and
efficient). 5. Conserve and restore natural resources, including agricultural resources, and
protect the ecological systems of the natural environment and economic uses of
those resources (sustainable, habitable, and competitive). 6. Encourage the development of affordable housing and provide for a reasonable
range of choice in housing and lifestyles (habitable and equitable). 7. Encourage the creation of economic opportunities in an equitable fashion for all
citizens (competitive and equitable).8. Seek methods for implementing community policy that are cost-effective, that link
costs to benefitting properties, and that accomplish public goals while
accommodating private interests (competitive, efficient, and accessible).9. Cooperate with local jurisdictions within and adjacent to Olmsted County in the
development and implementation of the Plan (accessible).10. Respond to land use and resource management issues in a flexible and proactive
way (accessible and efficient). 11. Sustainable communities (sustainable and efficient)"

The plan has very effectively and consciously marked areas for urban service, suburban development, and resource protection areas.




Outcome measures/metrics:
The cities comprehensive plan is looking at getting a revamp soon to better reflect the similar ideas laid out in the County Plan.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Jeff Ellerbusch (City staff) | ellerbusch.jeff@CO.OLMSTED.MN.US | 507-328-7132
Partners:
Northfield - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
An urban expansion area is described on Map 4.1 of our Comprehensive Plan. This is a Council approved document. In 2013, the urban expansion area was updated per a request from MNDOT and was presented to the Planning Commission where it was approved for submittal. This more current version has not been Council approved, but will be incorporated in the next iteration of the Comprehensive Plan, which is scheduled to be completed in 2018.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Beth Kallestad (City staff) | beth.kallestad@ci.northfield.mn.us | 507-645-3074
Partners:
Sartell - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2016
Implementation details:
In the 2016 Comprehensive Plan the City includes an Primary and secondary growth area. The map depicts a guide to the areas best suited to accommodate future growth in a staged and orderly way (through our orderly annexation agreement). The City prioritizes infill areas to leverage existing infrastructure. The primary growth areas map will help discourage leapfrog development especially when the City receives requests to be annexed into Sartell. See page 4 in the link.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Nate Keller (City staff) | nate.keller@sartellmn.com | 320-258-7316
Partners:
Jordan - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2008
Implementation details:
Jordan's Comprehensive Plan was last updated in 2008. This update included an urban growth boundary for use until at least 2030. The land use chapter also included focus areas for conservation in each future district. Additionally, Scott County’s 2030 Conservation Corridors and Areas map was consulted to highlight natural areas in need of conservation.

In 2017, Jordan city staff will continue working to update the comprehensive plan through analysis and public engagement. Additional information on housing, growth trends, and conservation needs will help the city adjust its urban growth boundary.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Nathan Fuerst (City staff) | nfuerst@jordanmn.gov | 952-492-7929
Partners: Scott County