Best Practice Action Detail

Best Practice Action 10.6

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 6

Conserve natural, cultural, historic resources by adopting or amending city codes and ordinances to support sustainable sites, including roadsides, and environmentally protective land use development.

  • Like the food pyramid, the 3Rs of sustainable site design lists in a hierarchy various practices builders can use to achieve their sustainability goals.
  • The Sustainable Sites and Responsible Land Use Development Assessment Tool of EPA's Sustainable Design and Green Building Toolkit for Local Governments (June 2013) provides guidance to assess local regulations for barriers to sustainable development and develop a plan of action to address them.
  • While Minnesota's current roadside mowing statute, 160.232 (1985), says, among other things, that roadside mowing cannot be done before July 31, the MN Dept. of Natural Resources, MnDOT, the MN Dept. of Agriculture and the Monarch Joint Venture (coordinated by the MN Monarch Lab at the University of Minnesota) all recommend not mowing (except for safety and weed control) before October 1 in southern MN and not before September 20 in northern MN in order to maximize habitat for birds, monarch butterflies, other pollinators, and other fauna and flora.
  • The MN Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) has developed a Landscape Resiliency Toolbox with strategies and resources to address a wide range of landscape stressors including climate change, in order to maintain long-term ecological, economic and social benefits.
  • The national SITES Rating System is for development projects located on sites with or without buildings.
1 star Adopt an integrated approach to roadside maintenance; fill out the EPA Assessment Tool A.1 Site Development and Preservation of Natural Areas section to assess the city's codes and ordinances for their compatibility with sustainable sites and land use development. Provide a code/ordinance reference for each question in section A.1.
2 star Amend or adopt at least one code/ordinance to expressly require or incentivize preservation or protection of drinking water source(s), pollinator habitat, steep slopes, green space and/or trees.
3 star Certify or qualify a site under the SITES rating system; amend or adopt at least one code/ordinance that expressly requires or incentivizes flexibility to modify design and materials of streets, driveways and/or parking to protect natural resources.

Who's doing it

Belle Plaine - 3 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Belle Plaine has adopted code which is designed to ensure that sensitive physical features such as bluff land, ravines, wetlands and natural waterways are protected.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Laura Blue (City staff) | lblue@ci.belleplaine.mn.us | 952-873-5553
Partners:
Chanhassen - 3 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
In 1991, the city of Chanhasen passed ordinances aimed at the protection of steep slopes/bluffs, trees, and green space. The Bluff Protection ordinance prohibits any development on steep slopes and requires setbacks for all structures. The Tree Preservation ordinance requires the protection of existing tree cover on sites up for development and preserves woodlands through zoning or conservation easements. The Bluff Creek Overlay District identifies the primary corridor of Bluff Creek within the city and protects all natural areas along the creek. This ordinances has protected a greenway running the length of the city that includes woodlands, prairies and wetlands.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Jill Sinclair (City staff) | jsinclair@ci.chanhassen.mn.us | 952-227-1133
Partners:
Bloomington - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
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Implementation details:
City adopted Conservation zoning (and land use designation) and several overlay districts to protect sensitive resources from development impacts.
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Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Steve Gurney (City staff) | sgurney@BloomingtonMN.gov | 952-563-4606
Partners:
Nisswa - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
We have zoned lots 28260674, 28260675, 28260544, 28260573, 28260572, 28260557 as public recreational. This has been the zoning for several years with the hope of making a park on the land that would preserve the natural beauty for the park goes to enjoy. This land ultimately went up for auction as tax forfeited. With the partnership of the neighbors and the city we are on our way to turning this existing long range plan into an obtainable reality. The land was pulled off of the market to start negotiations between the city and the county. We are in the final stages now of presenting our proposal for a park of natural trails, leaving the trees and nature mostly untouched, to the county. In the winter this will double as a snow shoe trail making it a usable park year round. Pending the county's approval we will be on our way to having a 40 acre park filled with nature and trails for people to enjoy for years to come.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Brittney Cotner (City Staff) | zoningadmin@ci.nisswa.mn.us | 2189632402
Partners: Crow Wing County and the neighbors of Camp Lincoln Road