GreenStep City resolution: Click here to view the file.
GreenStep City status and date: STEP 3(
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.
Crystal is constructing a new Public Works facility and the building is being constructed under a green building framework, following LEED standards. The new facility includes Energy Star and energy efficient appliances and systems as well as geothermal heating.
2 star - Action 5: Conserve/protect drinking/groundwater resources by creating a water-wise landscaping ordinance/guidance, WaterSense purchasing program, or guidance on rainwater harvesting and home water softener use.
Crystal, as a member of the Joint Water Commission, purchases water from Minneapolis. In 2018 the city did a utility rate study and changed the basis for billing to a consumption basis, in part, to encourage wise use of water.
Reuse of a retail building - ISD 281 Adult Education entered into a long term lease for 40,000+ square feet of retail at the Crystal Shopping Center for its adult education and ECFE programs. The City approved the conditional use permit earlier this year and the ribbon-cutting was on September 1 in time for classes to start September 6.
A charter school, Beacon Academy, received a conditional use permit to utilize a church (Cornerstone Church, 3420 Nevada) for a K-8 school. Their reuse also includes the addition of 10,000 square feet for additional classroom space. The groundbreaking was September 7 and the school anticipates moving in for the 2017-18 academic year.
The City has a contract with the NW HousingResource Center to provide technical assistance to residents and homeowners and most residents who make improvements are eligible for a rebate. The Center encourages re-use and renovation of existing homes rather than demolition and new construction.
Zoning Code and Comprehensive Plan including planned unit development provisions for mixed-use and redevelopment projects. The planned unit development provisions allow for flexible lot sizes and frontage requirements.
1 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.
3 star - Action 3: Include requirements in comprehensive and/or other plans for intergovernmental coordination addressing regional land use and watershed / wellhead impacts, infrastructure, transportation, economic development and city/regional services.
Crystal participates in many multi-jurisdictional efforts including watersheds, purchase of water. Crystal, through the Joint Water Commission (JWC) of Crystal, New Hope and Golden Valley, purchase water from Minneapolis. This surface water supply is the source of the 3 cities' municipal water system. The JWC has conservation pricing as well as conservation education to minimize unnecessary use of water. The JWC recently installed wells for ground water in case of an emergency. These wells will be subject to a wellhead protection plan. Crystal is an active member of the Bassett Creek and Shingle Creek Watersheds for storm water management and routinely coordinates storm water capital projects for managing runoff and water quality.
Robbinsdale School District recently relocated its Adult Learning Center to the western 40,000+ square feet of the Crystal Shopping Center. This is immediately adjacent to many retail shops in the shopping center, as well as the other retail and businesses in the Bass Lake Road/West Broadway commercial hub. The education building and shopping center is bordered by residential properties, both single family and multi-family. The retail area is served by public transit and sidewalks for commuters and pedestrians/bicyclists.
In the City's Comprehensive Plan Update 2040, the plan includes the following policies regarding living streets, including landscaping and stormwater:
- take advantage of low cost opportunities to improve non-motorized transportation opportunities, including designating striped shoulders or parking lanes as bike lanes and adoption of an official sidewalk, trail and bike lane map.
- In some areas where a multi-use trail is desired, it may be more practical to utilize a combination of sidewalk and bike land
- Explore potential to create additional non-motorized transportation opportunities where remnants of pre-development landscape remain.
- Streetscape improvements should be used to enhance the visual appeal of the community. Enhanced streetscaping should be a consideration for any major new roadway construction or existing roadway reconstruction project.
Over 2017-2018, the City rewrote and updated the City Code, including updates to the storm water management and erosion control provisions, illicit discharge, etc.
In 2018, the City completed replacement of all sanitary sewer manhole lids with solid covers, one of our efforts to reduce inflow and infiltration.
Although the city has not yet adopted a complete/green streets policy, as streets are being reconstructed or streets are being installed in infill plats, streets are being narrowed as appropriate for anticipated traffic levels.
1 star - Action 4: Identify, prioritize and remedy complete streets gaps and lack of connectivity/safety within your road network by, for example, adding a bike route/lane, truck route, sidewalk or mid-block alley.
Crystal has implemented a street reconstruction program for all local streets. As streets are reconstructed, sidewalks are constructed to connect existing sidewalks and to create safe pedestrian access to parks, schools and other facilities.
As HVAC equipment and appliances wear out and are replaced, they are replaced with energy efficient/Energy Star equipment and appliances. Office paper: office paper supplies shall be at a minimum, certifiably sourced as defined by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (sfiprogram.org) or Forest Stewardship Council and shall contain at least 30% post-consumer recycled content.
Pending - Action 2: Purchase energy used by city government - via the municipal utility, green tags, community solar garden, 3rd party - with a higher renewable percentage than required by Minnesota law.
Crystal has a comprehensive reconstruction program for all local streets and the bid specifications for reconstruction projects require the asphalts from the streets to be recycled in the reconstruction projects.
City councilmembers have the option of paperless Council meeting agendas and most city staff receive electronic meeting agendas and meeting packets. With recent changes to HVAC valves, Conference Room thermostats now have sensors for when a room is occupied and needs heating and cooling.
As streets are being reconstructed or new streets are being constructed in infill subdivisions, streets are being narrowed as appropriate for anticipated traffic levels. Section 800.47, Subd. 1 and 2 of the Crystal City Code have been changed so that the required width of surfaced roadway is 24 feet (for ROW greater than 50 feet) for streets less than 50 feet, the required width can be 18 feet.
Section 700 of the City Code creates a stormwater utility. The Environmental Quality Commission has sponsored a public education program to educate residents on the importance of limiting what goes into storm drains (Storm Drain Baseball) as well as helpful hints on the city's website.
Boulevard rain gardens are installed, where appropriate and as requested by residnents, as part of local street reconstruction projects.
The City also has constructed several public rain gardens in parks and rights-of-way where appropriate.
All new construction is required to provide erosion control which is part of the building plan review and comment process.
In December 2017, the Crystal City Council approved a 20-year Parks Master Plan. The first project was improving Welcome Park by closing and removing Welcome Avenue that cut the park in half and installing a sidewalk for pedestrian use. The second project is the renovation and updating of Becker Park, including a trail/sidewalk connection to provide pedestrian access throughout the park and providing a pedestrian connection between Douglas Drive and Bass Lake Road (to be construction spring/summer 2019)
Crystal is a member of the Bassett Creek and Shingle Creek Water Management Organizations which both work to improve water quality in both watersheds. Crystal has coordinated several water quality improvement projects on behalf o the watersheds (639 Wetland project in Shingle Creek to reduce phosphorous run off into Twin Lake).
1 star - Action 3: Adopt and report on measurable, publicly announced surface water improvement targets for water bodies, including the percent of lake, river, wetland and ditch shoreline with at least a 50-foot vegetation buffer.
Crystal is a part of the Bassett Creek and Shingle Creek Watershed Districts/Management organizations. Both watersheds measure and publish surface water improvement targets on their websites (link to both is on the City's website).
The Engineering Department does compare energy use of Crystal facilities with peer facilities on an on-going basis. Crystal volunteered to be one of the guinea pigs for automatic reporting of city buildings.
Crystal, as a member of the Joint Water Commission, purchases water from Minneapolis. In 2018 the city did a utility rate study and changed the basis for billing for water and sanitary sewer usage to a consumption basis, in part, to encourage wise use of water.
Crystal is part of the three city Hennepin Recycling Group (HRG). The HRG does an annual collection of products not suitable for weekly garbage collection as well as an every other year curbside collection of such goods. The three HRG have curbside single sort recycling collection for all single family homes. The Environmental Quality Commission does an annual collection utilizing Tech Dump for collection and recycling of old electronic equipment.
The Crystal Environmental Quality Commission will make annual reports to the City Council which will be on the city's website regarding GreenStep Cities implementation progress. There is a link to the GreenStep Cities page on the city's website.
Create or participate in a marketing/outreach program to connect businesses with assistance providers, including utilities, who provide personalized energy, waste or sustainability audits and assistance.
Crystal Recreation Department has community garden plots, in partnership with Brooklyn Park. There is a waiting list for the existing community gardens and options are being considered for additional community garden plots.
Crystal is part of the West Metro Fire-Rescue District, which serves as our emergency preparedness coordination agency. We recently (earlier in 2016) updated our Hazard Mitigation Plan and submitted it to Hennepin County. We are part of the North Suburban Emergency Planning Group. City Manager is responsible for implementation of emergency preparedness and response planning and training, with the assistance of West Metro Fire. The City also uses our website and social media to post severe weather alerts, tips for staying safe (dressing appropriately in cold weather, hydrating and staying cool during extreme heat, etc.).
With the city's updated website, we can put banners/alerts on the website in cases of severe weather. We also post real time information about severe weather.
Minimizing injuries or loss of life or property damage.
In the shared Emergency Operations Plan with West Metro Fire-Rescue District, Crystal has done a risk assessment of the community, determined a congregate care facility (the Crystal Community Center) and communications plan.