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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).