City Detail

Background Information

City of Farmington
County: Dakota
Population: 22687
GreenStep City category: A
Full-time equivalent city staff (approx.): 100
Participating township, county, school:

GreenStep Coordinator

Adam Kienberger
City Staff
651-280-6820
City web page relating to sustainability/GreenStep activities:
GreenStep City resolution: Click here to view the file.
GreenStep City status and date: ( )

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: 25
1 star actions: 19
2 star actions: 2
3 star actions: 3

Buildings and Lighting Buildings and Lighting

Efficient Existing Public Buildings {BP no.1}

3 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 of Farmington has implemented energy efficiencies in city buildings to reduce energy costs in multiple city buildings. These efforts will continue in the future.
Outcome measures/metrics:
• Replaced 400 watt metal halide light fixtures and bulbs with T-8 32 watt fluorescent light fixtures and bulbs in shop area of the Central Maintenance Facility reducing energy use by 50% (2.5 year payback)
• Installed occupancy sensors in all rooms at the Rambling River Center allowing the lights to turn off automatically if there are no occupants in the room
• Working with Great River Energy staff on programming the HVAC unit’s air handler to optimally power down when no occupants are in building and power back on at a more optimal time before the building is occupied
• Automatic setback thermostats in the Rambling River Center have been changed to allow for higher temperatures to occur in the building during non-use times (nights and weekends) in the cooling season and lower temperatures to occur in the building during non-use times (nights and weekends) in the heating season
• City Hall and the Rambling River Center have both been placed on the Xcel Energy System Saver program during the cooling season, allowing the buildings cooling system to be cycled on and off every 15 minutes during peak demand times

The following items have been completed related to reducing energy costs outdoors:

• Replaced metal halide light fixtures and bulbs with LED fixtures and bulbs at the RR Park tennis courts
• Replaced metal halide light fixtures and bulbs in PD parking lot with new LED fixtures and bulbs
Descriptive File:
Great River Energy
For more information contact:
David McKnight (City staff) | dmcknight@ci.farmington.mn.us | 651-280-6801

Building Redevelopment {BP no.5}

1 star - Action 1:

Adopt an historic preservation ordinance/regulations to encourage adaptive reuse.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The heritage preservation ordinance was approved on February 16, 1999 in order to preserve buildings in our city. It's purpose was to do the following:

1. The quality of significance in history, architecture, archeology, and culture is present in buildings, sites, structures, objects and districts that possess integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association, and:


(a) That are associated with specific events or a pattern of events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history; or


(b) That are associated with the lives of persons or groups significant in our past; or


(c) That embody the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction, or that represent the work of a master builder, or that possess high artistic values, or that represent a significant and distinguishable entity those components may lack individual distinction; or


(d) That have yielded, or may be likely to yield, information important in prehistory or history.


2. The singular physical appearance, historic character or aesthetic value of an established or familiar feature of a neighborhood or community within the City.

The ordinance is explained below:
Discussion of the Heritage Preservation Commission's Duties and Powers, the designation of Heritage Landmarks; Design review of old and new buildings requesting permits; and the demolition of buildings over 50 years old.



Outcome measures/metrics:
An ordinance that requires the review of a building that is 50 years or older to be discussed before any demolition may occur. In those discussions, the determination of use, building restoration or rehabilitation is reviewed.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Adam Kienberger (City staff) | akienberger@ci.farmington.mn.us | 651-280-6820
1 star - Action 5:

Adopt development/design standards and programs that facilitate infill, redevelopment, and adaptable buildings.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
In 2011, Immanuel Dental built a building in the downtown on a lot that was vacant for over 2 years. The owner was the first to go through the City's new 30-working day commercial review process that included a process where building review, zoning, and site planning were reviewed within a 30-working day timeline. In this case, the owner was able to start earlier than expected before the winter season.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Building completed early and infill lot was built on.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Adam Kienberger (City staff) | akienberger@ci.farmington.mn.us | 651-280-6820

Land Use Land Use

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

1 star - Action 1:

Adopt a comprehensive plan or (for Category B & C cities) adopt a future 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 City updated its Comprehensive Plan in 2008 and is currently reviewing and updating the plan in 2011. The plan called for updates every 2-3 years.
Outcome measures/metrics:
The 2030 Comprehensive Plan is less than 10 years old.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Adam Kienberger (City staff) | akienberger@ci.farmington.mn.us | 651-280-6820
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.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City updated its City Code to comply with the 2030 Comprehensive Plan in 2008.
Outcome measures/metrics:
The City Code is in compliance with the 2030 Comprehensive Plan.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Adam Kienberger (City staff) | akienberger@ci.farmington.mn.us | 651-280-6820
2 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.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Intergovernmental coordination includes the following:

Transportation - Dakota County and the City of Farmington work in close coordination concerning roadways in the City. The County is involved in reviewing plats along County Roads to ensure access spacing and traffic flows.

Land Use - The City of Farmington has entered into orderly annexation agreement (Castle Rock and Empire Townships)for property adjacent to the City. Any property owner interested in applying for annexation with this area is allowed to do so without conflict with Castle Rock or Empire Townships.

Watershed impacts - The City works with the Vermillion River Watershed and the DNR to ensure that water runoff and contaminants are regulated.

Sewer and water - The City has worked with the City of Lakeville for sewer extension near Flagstaff Avenue. Sewer and water have been run to the Dakota County Fairgrounds through the City's systems.

Fire - ALF Ambulance has had years of commitment between Apple Valley, Lakeville, and Farmington to service those areas.

Health - The City of Farmington is working with Dakota County and the Health Department to discuss issues concerning the Active Living Campaign.
Outcome measures/metrics:
All of the above mentioned items make Farmington better. Looking beyond the boundaries of your city makes you feel apart of a whole community.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Adam Kienberger (City staff) | akienberger@ci.farmington.mn.us | 651-280-6820

Resilient City Growth {BP no.7}

1 star - Action 2:

Achieve higher density housing through at least two of the following strategies:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
2a)The B-2 downtown business district requires a minimum lot size of 5,000 sf and a lot width of 50 feet. The Riste Lot in downtown Farmington is a infill lot that contains 3,484 sf and a 40 ft lot width. This lot will require a variance when it is developed allowing a flexible lot size/ frontage for infill develoment.

2d) Accessory dwelling units are allowed in the downtown single-family residential district on lots at 6,000 sf or more.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Infill development has flexible requirements in order to have development occur on the site and accessory dwelling units provide options to homeowners.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Adam Kienberger (City staff) | akienberger@ci.farmington.mn.us | 651-280-6820

Mixed Uses {BP no.8}

1 star - Action 2:

Locate or lease a school, city building or other government facility that has at least two of these attributes:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
2a)In 2006, the City made a conscious decision to locate the new City Hall in the existing downtown in order to facilitate downtown business prosperity and create a walkable downtown with existing single and multi-family residents on small lots.
2b)The City Hall may be accessed by residents in the originally platted downtown to walk or bike to the facility.
Outcome measures/metrics:
The City Hall location in the downtown has provided walking and biking options for residents to access City Hall.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Adam Kienberger (City staff) | akienberger@ci.farmington.mn.us | 651-280-6820

Design for Natural Resource Conservation {BP no.10}

1 star - Action 1:

Conduct a Natural Resource Inventory or Assessment (NRI or NRA); incorporate protection of priority natural systems or resources such as groundwater through the subdivision or development process.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City prepared a NRI for the community in 2010 and it was approved in 2011. The NRI incorporated a landscape ordinance to preserve trees in subdivision developments.
Outcome measures/metrics:
The NRI has provided the Parks & Recreation department the ability to plan parks that meet the standards of the NRI.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Adam Kienberger (City staff) | akienberger@ci.farmington.mn.us | 651-280-6820
1 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 City Code was revised on May 16, 2011 to incoporate a Woodland and Tree Preservation ordinance in order to protect trees in proposed developments.
Outcome measures/metrics:
The new ordinance will provide for the protection of stands of trees and protect large speciman trees within the development when it begins again.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Adam Kienberger (City staff) | akienberger@ci.farmington.mn.us | 651-280-6820

Transportation Transportation

Efficient City Fleets {BP no.13}

1 star - Action 3:

Phase-in no-idling practices, operational and fuel changes, and equipment changes including electric vehicles, for city or local transit fleets.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
2) The City has a monthly program monitoring and reporting fuel usage and costs.
3c) The City also has a maintenance schedule to insure that the City fleet optimizes vehicle life and fuel efficiency.
Outcome measures/metrics:
The City fleet runs more efficiently through this reporting.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Adam Kienberger (City staff) | akienberger@ci.farmington.mn.us | 651-280-6820
1 star - Action 4:

Phase in bike, e-bike, foot or horseback modes for police, inspectors and other city staff.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
In 2006, the City phased in bike patrols for the police department. The patrols occur in the downtown area of the City.
Outcome measures/metrics:
The bike patrol saves fuel costs.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Adam Kienberger (City staff) | akienberger@ci.farmington.mn.us | 651-280-6820

Environmental Management Environmental Management

Sustainable Purchasing {BP no.15}

1 star - Action 1:

Adopt a sustainable purchasing policy or administrative guidelines/practices directing that the city purchase at least:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
1a) The City only purchases Energy Star computers for staff.

1b) The City also purchases paper that contains a least 30% post-consumer recycled content.
Outcome measures/metrics:
The computers are energy efficient and paper is recycled.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Adam Kienberger (City staff) | akienberger@ci.farmington.mn.us | 651-280-6820
1 star - Action 7:

Lower the environmental footprint of meetings and events in the city.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Farmington transitioned to paperless city council meetings in 2011.
Outcome measures/metrics:
The city estimates that it has eliminated over 162,000 copies being made for city council meetings over the past five years.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
David McKnight (City staff) | dmcknight@ci.farmington.mn.us | 651-280-6801

Urban Forests and Soils {BP no.16}

1 star - Action 1:

Certify as a Tree City USA.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City has been a member of Tree City USA since 1990 and continues that tradition.
Outcome measures/metrics:
The City meets the qualfications for a Tree City USA distinction.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Adam Kienberger (City staff) | akienberger@ci.farmington.mn.us | 651-280-6820
1 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 revised landscape ordinance in 1998 to promote the addition of landscape materials in the City with tree requirments on boulevards at 1/40 ft. The ordinance also provides for screening requirements for incompatible uses.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Additional landscaping is provided in the community and the ordinance requires screening though landscaping between incompatible uses.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Adam Kienberger (City staff) | akienberger@ci.farmington.mn.us | 651-280-6820

Stormwater Management {BP no.17}

Not rated - Action 6:

Reduce de-icing salt use to prevent permanent surfacewater and groundwater pollution.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
An erosion and sediment control ordinance (11-4-5)was approved on September 20, 2010. The control requires silt fence, turf, temporary rock entrances, etc., and requires the applicant to follow all MPCA best management practices.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Prevent erosion or sediment control issues in stormwater treatment process.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Adam Kienberger (City staff) | akienberger@ci.farmington.mn.us | 651-280-6820

Parks and Trails {BP no.18}

1 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 Parks and Recreation Department manages a trail gap map that identifies trail connection needs in the City's system. The City and Dakota County recently completed a trail connection from 195th Street to CSAH 50 on the west side of Pilot Knob Road. The connection consisted of 1.77 miles of trail to fill the gap in the system. Connects with Lakeville trail system.
Outcome measures/metrics:
A trail connection from 195th St to CSAH 50 has completed a gap in the City's trail system.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Adam Kienberger (City staff) | akienberger@ci.farmington.mn.us | 651-280-6820
1 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 Parks and Recreation Department has a an Existing and Proposed Parks, Trails, and Open Space Map that shows potential sites for parks as shown in the attached web link. The proposed parks have been budgeted.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Pre-planning of parks, trails, and open space assists the public in knowing where the next location is for those amenities.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Adam Kienberger (City staff) | akienberger@ci.farmington.mn.us | 651-280-6820
3 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:
Parks are provided to residents on an average 1/2 mile to their homes. This has been established as a standard in the City's 2008 Comprehensive Plan.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Residents have close access to city parks.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Adam Kienberger (City staff) | akienberger@ci.farmington.mn.us | 651-280-6820

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's Shoreland Ordinance was adopted in 2002. The DNR was part of the ordinance review and provided comments to the ordinance. The Shoreland Ordinance meets the requirements of the legislature of Minnesota by delegating responsibility to local governments of the state to regulate the subdivision, use and development of the shore lands of public waters and thus preserve and enhance the quality of surface waters, conserve the economic and natural environmental values of shore lands, and provide for the wise use of waters and related resources. The city of Farmington hereby recognizes this responsibility.
The City has a State designated trout stream - Vermillion River.
Outcome measures/metrics:
The Shoreland Ordinance meets the requirements of the legislature of Minnesota and provides for the protection of shores in the community and the enhancement of stormwater ponds.

Descriptive File:

Sustainable Consumption and Waste {BP no.22}

3 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 owns and operates its own waste and recycling for residents. There are 30, 60 and 90 gallon waste containers available to the residents.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Allows residents to have waste collection and reduces waste through recycling program.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Adam Kienberger (City staff) | akienberger@ci.farmington.mn.us | 651-280-6820
1 star - Action 7:

Improve/organize residential trash, recycling and organics collection by private and/or public operations and offer significant volume-based pricing on residential garbage and/or incentives for recycling.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City owns and operates its own waste and recycling for residents. There are 30, 60 and 90 gallon waste containers available to the residents. The City has a volume-based cost.
Outcome measures/metrics:
There is a waste collection system in Farmington.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Adam Kienberger (City staff) | akienberger@ci.farmington.mn.us | 651-280-6820

Resilient Economic & Community Development Resilient Economic and Community Development

Benchmarks and Community Engagement {BP no.24}

2 star - Action 1:

Use a city commission, or committee to lead, coordinate, and report to and engage community members on implementation of sustainability best practices.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Green Steps Committee formed to report to the city council and the community on implementation of program best practices.
Outcome measures/metrics:
The city administrator formed a staff committee to perform the tasks of implementing additional best practices. The committee includes the city administrator, community development director, city engineer, parks and recreation director and municipal services director. Additional city staff members will be included as needed. The committee will report back to the city council on a regular basis so they can track the progress of becoming a Step 3 and more successful Green Steps city.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
David McKnight (City staff) | dmcknight@ci.farmington.mn.us | 651-280-6801

Local Food {BP no.27}

1 star - Action 3:

Create, assist with and promote local food production/distribution within the city:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
3a) The City has run a Farmer's Market for the past 3 years providing opportunities for residents to purchase fresh and local food. 3c) A community garden was established in 2010 and is run by the Community Education Council affiliated with the school district.
Outcome measures/metrics:
The Farmer's Market allows for the purchase of local foods grown in the area and provides a festive atmosphere for citizens. Education of growing local food is provided with the community garden.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Adam Kienberger (City staff) | akienberger@ci.farmington.mn.us | 651-280-6820