City Detail

Background Information

City of Arden Hills
County: Ramsey
Population: 9847
GreenStep City category: B
Full-time equivalent city staff (approx.): 27
Participating township, county, school:

GreenStep Coordinator

Mike Mrosla
City Staff
6517927822
City web page relating to sustainability/GreenStep activities:
GreenStep City resolution: Click here to view the file.
GreenStep City status and date: STEP 2 ( )

City Assessment Files and City Performance Metrics

City councils pass a resolution to join the GreenStep program and are recognized at Step 1. Step 2 and Step 3 recognition levels reflect completed city actions, reported and rated below with stars (1 star = good, 2 stars = better, 3 stars = best). The Assessment File below summarizes completed city actions in a short Word file. Step 4 recognition is awarded to cities who report a minimum number of core metrics for the previous calendar year. These metrics aim to show the aggregate, quantitative results of taking multiple GreenStep actions. Step 5 cities show improvement in the Step 4 metrics. See yearly data for Steps 4&5. Additional city data can be found by reviewing information on B3 Benchmarking and Regional Indicators Initiative.

Assessment File

Best Practice Actions Underway and Completed

Completed actions are denoted by stars.

Total completed actions: 23
1 star actions: 6
2 star actions: 10
3 star actions: 7

Buildings and Lighting Buildings and Lighting

Efficient Existing Public Buildings {BP no.1}

1 star - Action 1: Enter building information into the Minnesota B3 Benchmarking database and routinely enter monthly energy, water use data for all city-owned buildings.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Monthly energy and water use data for City Hall has been entered into the B3 Benchmarking database from the last 12 months. The City will continue to update energy and water use data on a regular basis.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Mike Mrosla (City staff) | mmrosla@cityofardenhills.org | 6517927822
1 star - Action 2: Make no/low cost indoor lighting and operational changes in city-owned/school buildings to reduce energy costs.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City has replaced lights within City Hall with LED lights. The City has also installed motion sensor lighting in certain public areas of City Hall to reduce energy use.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Mike Mrosla (City staff) | mmrosla@cityofardenhills.org | 6517927822

Efficient Existing Private Buildings {BP no.2}

2 star - Action 1:

Create or participate in a marketing/outreach/incentive program to promote/achieve residential energy/water use reduction and energy efficiency.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City maintains an "Eco Living" page on its website that includes information on sustainable landscaping. Specific topics covered include best management practices for reducing water usage in seasonal yard care and landscaping design. The City partners with Ramsey County and the Center for Energy and Environment to provide energy loans to replace inefficient heating systems and upgrade home insulation. The Energy Conservation Deferred Loan program is promoted on the City's website.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
Ramsey County; Center for Energy and Environment
For more information contact:
Mike Mrosla (City staff) | mmrosla@cityofardenhills.org | 6517927822

Efficient Outdoor Lighting and Signals {BP no.4}

1 star - Action 5: Use LED/solar-powered lighting for a flashing sign or in a street, parking lot or park project.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City installed a flashing school zone sign on County Road E2 that is solar-powered.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Mike Mrosla (City staff) | mmrosla@cityofardenhills.org | 6517927822

Land Use Land Use

Comprehensive, Climate and Energy Plans {BP no.6}

2 star - Action 1: Adopt a comprehensive plan or (for Category B & C cities) adopt a land use plan that was adopted by the county or a regional entity.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The Arden Hills 2030 Comprehensive Plan was adopted on September 28, 2019. The following chapters of the Comprehensive Plan articulate a number of goals and strategies related to active living and sustainability: Active Living, Land Use, Parks and Recreation, Protected Resources, Transportation, and Environmental Conservation and Sustainability.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Mike Mrosla (City staff) | mmrosla@cityofardenhills.org | 6517927822
2 star - Action 2: Demonstrate that regulatory ordinances comply with the comprehensive plan including but not limited to having the zoning ordinance explicitly reference the comprehensive plan as the foundational document for decision making.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Section 1315.04 of the City Code establishes that the Zoning Code must be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan. This section states, "Any application to consider a change in zoning by the City shall concurrently be accompanied by an application to amend the Comprehensive Development Plan in accordance with the proposed rezoning, if the rezoning is not consistent with the Plan." Section 1320.01 of the Zoning Code states, "the zoning districts designated herein are hereby established so as to assist the City in carrying out the intent and purpose of its Comprehensive Development Plan for the City and to control development in a manner consistent with the provisions of adequate public services and utilities."
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Mike Mrosla (City staff) | mmrosla@cityofardenhills.org | 6517927822

Resilient City Growth {BP no.7}

3 star - Action 1: Limit barriers to higher density housing by including in the city zoning ordinance and zoning map:
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The Town Center District within the TCAAP redevelopment area is a mixed-use zoning district that requires a minimum density of 15 units per acre for multi-family housing and allows for a maximum density of 67 units per acre. The Town Center District allows for a mix of residential, retail, office, and entertainment uses and is adjacent to commercial retail and office districts.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Mike Mrosla (City staff) | mmrosla@cityofardenhills.org | 6517927822

Mixed Uses {BP no.8}

3 star - Action 1:

Organize or participate in a community planning/design process for the city/a mixed use district.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Arden Hills went through a large-scale community planning process to develop a Master Plan for the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant site beginning in 2013. Several open houses were held, as well as monthly opportunities for residents to speak at a Public Hearing at City Council meetings. Staff, consultants and residents all worked together to develop the Master Plan for the area. The TCAAP Master Plan includes several mixed use zoning districts and the site has been designed to be very pedestrian friendly development.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Mike Mrosla (City staff) | mmrosla@cityofardenhills.org | 6517927822
3 star - Action 5: Have a downtown zoning district that allows residential and compatible commercial development.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City completed the Guiding Plan for the B-2 District in 2008 and subsequently adopted zoning regulations to implement the plan. The Guiding Plan identifies the B-2 District as a distinct, identifiable, and special place in Arden Hills that functions like a downtown. The purpose of the B-2 Zoning District is to create a place in which people can live, work and play, and that is compact, architecturally diverse, and pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly.
The TCAAP Redevelopment Code includes a Town Center Zoning District that is meant to create a vibrant commercial and residential environment that maximizes the potential for an outdoor experience. The Town Center District promotes walkability through allowing for housing, office, retail, restaurant and civic use, all within close proximity of each other.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Mike Mrosla (City staff) | mmrosla@cityofardenhills.org | 6517927822
3 star - Action 6: Incorporate form-based zoning approaches into the zoning code, in those areas where a diverse mix of uses is desired.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The TCAAP Redevelopment Code includes form-based zoning approaches. One of the goals of the TCAAP Redevelopment Code is to promote and provide a more functional and attractive community through the use of recognized community design principles, and to allow property owners or developers flexibility in land use, while prescribing a higher level of detail in building design and form than in the current standards of the Arden Hills City Code. The TCAAP Redevelopment Code is written to allow a diverse mix of uses on the site, especially within the Town Center and other commercial districts.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Mike Mrosla (City staff) | mmrosla@cityofardenhills.org | 6517927822

Efficient Highway- and Auto-Oriented Development {BP no.9}

2 star - Action 1: Establish design goals for at least one highway/auto-oriented corridor/cluster.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City has adopted additional design standards for the B-2 and B-3 Zoning Districts, which are primarily located along County Road E and Lexington Avenue and are two of the main commercial corridors in the City. The design standards address architectural, landscaping, and site design in order to accomplish harmonious and high-quality commercial development. The design standards also emphasize the importance of designing for pedestrian and bicycle access and safety.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Mike Mrosla (City staff) | mmrosla@cityofardenhills.org | 6517927822

Design for Natural Resource Conservation {BP no.10}

2 star - Action 3: For cities within metropolitan areas, incorporate woodland best management practices addressing protection of wooded areas into zoning or development review.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The Protected Resources chapter of the Arden Hills 2030 Comprehensive Plan includes a Natural Resource Inventory Map that is meant to help develop regulations to protect significant natural resources and to help make informed development decisions in places where significant resources are present. The Natural Resources Inventory Map includes several priority protection areas that include diverse woodland habitats.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Mike Mrosla (City staff) | mmrosla@cityofardenhills.org | 6517927822

Transportation Transportation

Living Streets {BP no.11}

2 star - Action 2: Adopt zoning language or approve a skinny street/development project that follows green street and/or walkable streets principles.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The TCAAP Redevelopment Code for the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant redevelopment includes street design standards that are meant to support and balance automobile, bicycle, and walking trips. A Project Circulation Plan is required for all larger projects and must show how the plan considers all modes of transportation and integrated with existing planned streets, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and trails in the surrounding area. Streetscape standards require a minimum number of street tree plantings and vegetative screening for surface parking lots.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Mike Mrosla (City staff) | mmrosla@cityofardenhills.org | 6517927822

Mobility Options {BP no.12}

3 star - Action 1: Increase walking, biking and transit use by one or more of the following means:
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City maintains a page on its website with information on public trail networks including a map that is available to download. Wayfinding signage is provided throughout the City along public trails. The additional design standards for the B-2 and B-3 Zoning Districts require that properties provide one bicycle parking space for every 20 automobile parking spaces. All multi-family residential developments are required to provide enclosed bicycle parking at a ratio of 0.5 spaces for every dwelling unit.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Mike Mrosla (City staff) | mmrosla@cityofardenhills.org | 6517927822

Environmental Management Environmental Management

Urban Forests and Soils {BP no.16}

3 star - Action 4: Maximize tree planting along your main downtown street or throughout the city.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City requires a minimum of one street tree be planted for each 50 feet of street frontage throughout the City. In the B-2 and B-3 District, street trees are required at a minimum of every 40 feet of frontage. The TCAAP Redevelopment Code also requires street trees be planted at a spacing of 40 feet. In addition, the City has established minimum tree planting requirements for new development and redevelopment projects based on the size and use of the project. For commercial, industrial, and multi-family residential projects, a minimum number of caliper inches must be provided based on the gross square footage of the building divided by 320. Single-family residential subdivisions are required to provide a minimum of 3 new tree plantings in the front yard.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Mike Mrosla (City staff) | mmrosla@cityofardenhills.org | 6517927822
3 star - Action 5: Adopt a tree preservation or native landscaping ordinance.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City adopted a Tree Preservation Ordinance in 2008. The purpose of the ordinance is to identify trees that are to be saved when development or land disturbing activity is occurring. It is the City's intent to protect, preserve, and enhance the natural environment of Arden Hills and to encourage a resourceful and prudent approach to development. A Tree Preservation Plan is required as part of any Building Permit, Grading and Erosion Control Permit, or subdivision application and replacement tree plantings are required if a certain amount of significant trees are removed. The mitigation rate is 1 caliper inch for every 2 caliper inches removed. Unapproved tree loss requires a replacement of 2 caliper inches for every 1 caliper inch removed. The City Code allows for homeowners to install native meadow vegetation in place of turf grass if certain standards are met.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Mike Mrosla (City staff) | mmrosla@cityofardenhills.org | 6517927822

Parks and Trails {BP no.18}

2 star - Action 1: Make improvements within your city's system of parks, offroad trails and open spaces.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City is currently in the planning process for an important trail segment that will connect an existing trail that terminates at County Road E and Highway 51 and a second trail that ends at County Road E2 and Snelling Avenue. This new trail section will provide for improved trail access to one of the City' main commercial and retail corridors on County Road E, Bethel University, Valentine Hills Elementary School, and Tony Schmidt Regional Park. Construction of the trail is expected to be completed in 2018.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Mike Mrosla (City staff) | mmrosla@cityofardenhills.org | 6517927822
2 star - Action 2: Plan and budget for a network of parks, green spaces, water features and trails for areas where new development is planned.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City's Subdivision Code includes park or open space dedication requirements, or cash payment in lieu of, for each new subdivision. Where a subdivision is traversed by a watercourse, drainage way, channel, or stream, the City requires a drainage easement that is adequate to accommodate stormwater runoff. The approved Master Plan for the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant site identifies required future public parks and minimum development and amenity requirements.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Mike Mrosla (City staff) | mmrosla@cityofardenhills.org | 6517927822
2 star - Action 3: Achieve minimum levels of city green space and maximize the percent within a ten-minute walk of community members.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Arden Hills as 15 City parks ranging in size from one acre to 28 acres and other open space areas that cover approximately 145 acres. Arden Hills has a population of 9,966 residents, which is approximately 14 acres of park land per 1,000 residents. The total land area of Arden Hills is 6,121 acres. The 2030 Future Land Use Map guides a total of 600 acres of land for Parks and Open Space and 1,472 acres for Park Preserve. The total of these two land uses is 2,072 acres or approximately 34% of the total city land area.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:

Surface Water {BP no.19}

1 star - Action 4: Adopt a shoreland ordinance for all river and lake shoreland areas; reduce flooding and costs through The National Flood Insurance Program's Community Rating System.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City has adopted Shoreland Regulations within its Zoning Code (Section 1330). The purpose of the regulations is to preserve and enhance the quality of surface waters, preserve the economic and natural environmental value of shorelands, and provide for the wise use of waters and land resources. These goals are achieved through regulating the area of lots, the length of water frontage suitable for a building site, and structure setbacks; regulating alteration of shorelands and wetlands of public waters; control natural environmental areas of ecological value to maintain existing aquatic, vegetation, and wildlife conditions; and promote the use of native vegetation as a means to increase stormwater infiltration, provide natural view sheds, and screen structures and parking areas as view from public waters.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Mike Mrosla (City staff) | mmrosla@cityofardenhills.org | 6517927822
1 star - Action 5: Adopt goals to revegetate shoreland and create a local program or outreach effort to help property owners with revegetation.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City partners with the Ramsey County Conservation District and Rice Creek Watershed District on existing programs available to Arden Hills residents that help restore shoreland areas.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Mike Mrosla (City staff) | mmrosla@cityofardenhills.org | 6517927822
2 star - Action 7: Create/assist a Lake Improvement District.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City works with the Karth Lake Improvement District, which is comprised of property owners around Karth Lake. The LID's duties include managing the lake water level, monitoring water quality, and maintaining public beaches and docks. The LID meets at City Hall and the Public Works Director/City Engineer serves at the City staff liaison to the board.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Mike Mrosla (City staff) | mmrosla@cityofardenhills.org | 6517927822

Sustainable Consumption and Waste {BP no.22}

1 star - Action 6: Improve recycling services and expand to multi-unit housing and commercial businesses.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City contracts with a recycling contractor to serve as the exclusive curbside collector of recyclable materials for single family, duplex, triplex, and fourplex residential dwellings. Section 660.07 of the City Code requires that all multi-family building and manufactured home communities contract with a recycling contractor who will remove recyclable materials by a licensed collector. The City Code requires the following materials be collected: paper (newspaper, corrugated cardboard, mixed mail, boxboard, telephone books, and/or magazine), glass, metal (steel and aluminum food and beverage cans), and plastics (plastic container with necks marked with a #1 or #2).
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Mike Mrosla (City staff) | mmrosla@cityofardenhills.org | 6517927822