Best Practice Action Detail

Best Practice Action 10.4

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 4

Adopt a conservation design policy; use a conservation design tool for pre-design meetings with developers and for negotiating development agreements in cities with undeveloped natural resource areas.

  • See The Distinguished Developments Scoring Sheet (see p. 25) - created by the City of Minnetonka Natural Environment Team in 2013.
  • Redefining the Development Process: Choosing Collaboration over Contention to Protect Natural Resources and Maximize the Public Value of Private Development (Brauer & Associates and Schoenbauer Consulting: 2007).
  • Hanover, MN worked with Barr Engineering and the MN Pollution Control Agency to develop a conservation design prototype to guide development of a new neighborhood. The plan features 50% open space with green space adjacent to every back yard, a trail system, habitat creation, distinct neighborhoods with a community park, a natural stormwater management system, minimized paving, a preserved farmstead and windbreak, and passive solar homes orientated to maximize free heating from the sun and cooling from breezes. The prototype was based upon work of Randall Arendt, who published the 2007 Growing Greener , a free 18-page illustrated guide to creating open space networks and traditional neighborhoods through conservation design.
  • Essential Smart Growth Fixes for Rural Planning, Zoning, and Development Codes (US EPA: 2012) is a broad treatment of sustainable rural development covering fiscal impact analysis, annexation policies, commercial development, wastewater infrastructure, agriculture and natural areas, rural roads, and efficient development patterns.
  • Relating to mining, processing, or transporting of materials including silica sand, see the MN Environmental Quality Board's Library of Local Government Ordinances & Permits Regulating Silica Sand and Tools to Assist Local Governments in Planning for and Regulating Silica Sand Projects.
  • The Rick Harrison Site Design Studio of Golden Valley and his Prefurbia design tools aim to improve traditional suburban subdivision design. Among many features are the ability to maximize privacy and sightlines / viewsheds.
  • The Adaptation Workbook (Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science: 2016) is structured to incorporate the potential effects of climate change in land management and conservation actions.
1 star Adopt a conservation design guideline or conservation design model appropriate to the natural resources and habitat of your city as a standard for developers and residents to reference and to guide staff in reviewing subdivisions.
2 star Require a pre-proposal meeting as part of the subdivision process where, prior submission of a subdivision or development proposal, a conservation scorecard is discussed with developers and landowners; require a findings of fact be filed by staff or planning commission based on the scorecard or model; scenic viewsheds are explicity identified and protected.
3 star Incorporate a conservation design model or guide into subdivision regulations for greenfield areas with intact or restorable natural systems or resources; entitle a high-quality, multi-functional conservation development.

Who's doing it

Victoria - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The purpose of this section is to implement the conservation objectives contained in the comprehensive plan, including but not limited to those shown on the 2030 Future Land Use map. The primary tool to accomplish these purposes shall be density transfer based on an approved concept plan. The city hereby establishes provisions for planned unit developments utilizing conservation subdivision design requirements
Outcome measures/metrics:
The city is proud the have requirements within the Conservation subdivision design. This allows the city to keep the environment in mind but also letting the community grow
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Madison Fox-Christensen (City staff) | mfoxchristensen@ci.victoria.mn.us | 952-443-4219
Partners:
Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Land use Ordinance guidelines and environmental checklist.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Brandy Toft (City staff) | air@lldrm.org | 218-335-7429
Partners: