City Detail

Background Information

City of Newport
County: Washington
Population: 3678
GreenStep City category: B
Full-time equivalent city staff (approx.): 11
Participating township, county, school:

GreenStep Coordinator

Deb Schulz
City Staff
651-459-5677
City web page relating to sustainability/GreenStep activities:
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.

Assessment File

Best Practice Actions Underway and Completed

Completed actions are denoted by stars.

Total completed actions: 41
1 star actions: 30
2 star actions: 9
3 star actions: 2

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 consumption at City buildings being monitored via the B3 database beginning in January 2011. City staff will continue using the B3 system to manage and track energy usage at City facilities.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Data suggests an increase in energy consumption in five of the six buildings from the established baseline. City staff will work to identify the reason for the increase and establish a plan to decrease the consumption.
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Deb Schulz (City staff) | dschulz@newportmn.com | 651-459-5677
2 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 Newport worked with RETAP in early 2013 to conduct an energy audit on the two fire stations and City Hall. These three buildings were chosen because they have the highest ratio of actual measured consumption against the predicted benchmark according to the Minnesota B3 Benchmarking Program. Attached are the reports from RETAP, which include the recommended actions. The City replaced the furnaces for all three buildings and the A/C unit in the Police Department at City Hall. The City shuts off computers in City Hall at the end of the day.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
RETAP
For more information contact:
Deb Schulz (City staff) | dschulz@newportmn.com | 651-459-5677
1 star - Action 3: Invest in larger energy efficiency projects through performance contracting or other funding or through smaller retro-commissioning/retrofit projects in city-owned/school buildings.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The city replaced the heating in our main fire hall with Coray (Infered) heating.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Reduced heating costs and increased efficiency of heat throughout the fire hall.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Deb Schulz (City staff) | dschulz@newportmn.com | 651-459-5677

Efficient Existing Private Buildings {BP no.2}

1 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 has placed several resources on the City's website for residents and property owners on how to be sustainable. Information ranges from the Minnesota Energy Challenge to the U.S. Green Building Council.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Deb Schulz (City staff) | dschulz@newportmn.com | 651-459-5677
1 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.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City has a tiered rate structure for its water and sewer utilities. The rates can be found on the City's website. Additionally, the City is participating in a water conservation rebate program. Through the program, individuals can get rebates for Energy Star clothes washing machines, WaterSense labeled toilets and WaterSense labeled Irrigation Controllers purchased and installed by June 30, 2017.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
Washington County and Metropolitan Council
For more information contact:
Deb Schulz (City staff) | dschulz@newportmn.com | 651-459-5677

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 has installed solar-powered lighting for flashing stop signs at Glen Road and 10th Avenue and the pavilion at Bailey School Forest.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Deb Schulz (City staff) | dschulz@newportmn.com | 651-459-5677

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 City has a Heritage Preservation Ordinance in its City Code that preserves and protects areas, places, buildings, structures and objects that have a historical, community or aesthetic interest to the City of Newport.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Deb Schulz (City staff) | dschulz@newportmn.com | 651-459-5677
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:
The Land Use section of the 2030 Comprehensive Plan includes a goal to encourage infill development on vacant lots throughout the City, specifically the Old Town area. The Summer 2012 Newsletter had an article on these lots in order to encourage development and educate residents that these lots are buildable. Since 2013, there have been 4 houses built on in-fill lots and there are 2 houses being built in 2015.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Deb Schulz (City staff) | dschulz@newportmn.com | 651-459-5677

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 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 Council approved the City's 2030 Comprehensive Plan in 2010 and is in the process of reviewing it to determine if there needs to be any changes.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Deb Schulz (City staff) | dschulz@newportmn.com | 651-459-5677
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:
The City's 2030 Comprehensive Plan is referenced in all sections of the Zoning Code.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Deb Schulz (City staff) | dschulz@newportmn.com | 651-459-5677

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:
The City Council approved an ordinance amendment to add regulations for its MX-3 Transit Oriented District at its June 21 City Council meeting. This district does not allow single-family houses and requires residential properties to be between a density of 30 units/acre and 50 units/acre. The FAR for residential and non-residential uses in this district is 0.5.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:

Mixed Uses {BP no.8}

1 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 of Newport has five Mixed-Use Districts throughout the City. The purpose of the Mixed-Use Districts are to encourage a mixture of residential, commercial, office and retail development within the downtown area and near the transit station. The regulations for the Mixed-Use Districts can be found in Chapter 36 of the City Code.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Deb Schulz (City staff) | dschulz@newportmn.com | 651-459-5677

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

1 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 included goals for highway development in the 2030 Comprehensive Plan. Additionally, the goals are outlined in Chapter 36, Article V of the City Code. Finally, there are design goals for the MX-3 Transit Oriented District.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Deb Schulz (City staff) | dschulz@newportmn.com | 651-459-5677

Design for Natural Resource Conservation {BP no.10}

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 of Newport has several tree preservation ordinances, including Chapter 28, Sections 36-514, and 36-516.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Deb Schulz (City staff) | dschulz@newportmn.com | 651-459-5677

Transportation Transportation

Living Streets {BP no.11}

1 star - Action 1: Adopt a complete streets policy, or a living streets policy, which addresses landscaping and stormwater.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City Council approved a Complete Streets Policy at its June 21 City Council meeting.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Deb Schulz (City staff) | dschulz@newportmn.com | 651-459-5677

Mobility Options {BP no.12}

1 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 has a map on its website outlining the number of trails within the City. Additionally, the Newport Transit Station opened in December 2014. The transit station has three express trips in the morning and evening.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Deb Schulz (City staff) | dschulz@newportmn.com | 651-459-5677
1 star - Action 3: Prominently identify mobility options: transit; paratransit/Dial-A-Ride; ridesharing/cab services; rental cars; bikes.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City has sustainable transportation services listed on its website. The services include a link to the parks and trails map, Red Rock Corridor, and nearby Park and Ride stations.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Deb Schulz (City staff) | dschulz@newportmn.com | 651-459-5677
2 star - Action 6:

Add/expand transit service, or promote car/bike sharing.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Newport worked with the Washington County Regional Railroad Authority to open up the Newport Transit Station on December 1, 2014. The Regional Railroad Authority purchased vacant land in 2010 to build the transit station for the Red Rock Corridor. The City created a transit-oriented mixed-use district so that the transit station could be built. The Newport Transit Station provides express bus service from Newport to downtown St. Paul through three buses in the morning and afternoon.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
Washington County Regional Railroad Authority
For more information contact:
Deb Schulz (City staff) | dschulz@newportmn.com | 651-459-5677

Efficient City Fleets {BP no.13}

1 star - Action 2: Right-size/down-size the city fleet with the most fuel-efficient vehicles that are of an optimal size and capacity for their intended functions.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City Council approved an Environmentally Preferrable Purchasing Policy at its October 4, 2012 meeting. The Policy states that the City will right-size its fleet when vehicles are no longer needed. The City implemented this by replacing two fire department vehicles with one in late 2013.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Deb Schulz (City staff) | dschulz@newportmn.com | 651-459-5677

Demand-Side Travel Planning {BP no.14}

1 star - Action 1:

Reduce or eliminate parking minimums: add parking maximums; develop district parking.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City Council approved an ordinance amendment to add regulations for the MX-3 Transit Oriented District. The MX-3 District has both parking minimums and parking maximums. Additionally, the ordinance promotes shared parking in this district.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
1 star - Action 4:

Adopt a travel demand management plan for city employees or incorporate into development regulations TDM or transit-oriented development standards or LEED for Neighborhood Development certification.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The Planning Commission and City Council worked to create the MX-3 District, which is the Transit-Oriented Mixed Use District in 2012. The purpose of the MX-3 District is to encourage a mixture of residential, commercial, office and civic uses in proximity to transit facilities at densities and intensities that support and increase transit use. Development should encourage a safe and pleasant pedestrian environment, maximize access to transit, provide parking in an efficient and unobtrusive manner, and encourage a sense of activity and liveliness on local streets. Attached is the ordinance that was approved.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Deb Schulz (City staff) | dschulz@newportmn.com | 651-459-5677

Environmental Management Environmental Management

Sustainable Purchasing {BP no.15}

2 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:
The City Council approved an Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Policy at its October 4, 2012 meeting. The Policy is meant to encourage and increase purchasing that reflects the City’s commitment to sustainability. The Policy outlines policies for purchasing paper products, energy-efficient equipment, fuel-efficient vehicles, and printing services. The City has been purchasing recyled paper since the summer of 2012 and currently uses a printer that is certified by MN Great Printers for its quarterly newsletter.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Deb Schulz (City staff) | dschulz@newportmn.com | 651-459-5677
1 star - Action 6: Require printing services to be purchased from companies certified by Minnesota Great Printers or by the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Newport distributes newsletters to all property owners on a quarterly basis. The City will endeavor to use a printer that is certified by MN Great Printers.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Deb Schulz (City staff) | dschulz@newportmn.com | 651-459-5677
2 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:
In 2012, the City purchased iPads for the City Council and Planning Commission members to use during meetings instead of printing out paper copies. Additionally, the City started emailing packets for the Park Board and Library Advisory Committee meetings and placing packets for all meetings online. This resulted in a savings of about $18,000 between 2012 and 2016 given that staff did not have to print several packets or deliver them.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Deb Schulz (City staff) | dschulz@newportmn.com | 651-459-5677

Urban Forests and Soils {BP no.16}

2 star - Action 3: Budget for and achieve resilient urban canopy/tree planting goals.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City calculated its overall tree canopy using i-Tree. Per this tool, the City's overall tree canopy is 30%.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Deb Schulz (City staff) | dschulz@newportmn.com | 651-459-5677
1 star - Action 6:

Build community capacity to protect existing trees by one or more of:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
In 2016, nine Citizen Pruners donated 153 hours to prune 258 young trees planted in Newport as part of the Hwy 61 reconstruction (111 trees were pruned during the winter, as reported in April, and 147 during the summer pruning season). Citizen Pruners also thinned over-crowded dogwood shrubs in the pedestrian bridge parks.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
Residents of Newport
For more information contact:
Deb Schulz (City staff) | dschulz@newportmn.com | 651-459-5677

Parks and Trails {BP no.18}

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 City's Subdivision Chapter of the City Code requires dedication of open spaces, parks, and drainage easements or cash with each new subdivision
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Deb Schulz (City staff) | dschulz@newportmn.com | 651-459-5677
1 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:
The City has over 140 acres of parkland and 15 miles of trails. This equals 40.76 acres per 1,000 residents.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Deb Schulz (City staff) | dschulz@newportmn.com | 651-459-5677

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 adopted a Shoreland ordinance in 2004. It can be found in Section 36-328 of the City Code.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Deb Schulz (City staff) | dschulz@newportmn.com | 651-459-5677

Septic Systems {BP no.21}

1 star - Action 4: Adopt a subsurface sewage treatment system ordinance based on the Association of Minnesota Counties' model ordinance.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City contracts with Washington County for Subsurface Sewage Treatment System inspections and has also adopted the County's Subsurface Sewage Treatment System Regulations.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
Washington County
For more information contact:
Deb Schulz (City staff) | dschulz@newportmn.com | 651-459-5677

Sustainable Consumption and Waste {BP no.22}

2 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 requires every business and residential household (including multi-family) to recycle per Chapter 24 of the City Code. Additionally, it requires every residential property to separate recyclables from solid waste.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:

Local Air Quality {BP no.23}

3 star - Action 2:

Regulate outdoor wood burning, using ordinance language, performance standards and bans as appropriate, for at least one of the following:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Chapter 14, Article II of the City Code addresses open burning in the City of Newport. Permits are required for open burning and there are certain materials that are prohibited from being burned. Additionally, the City requires that only untreated wood, coal or charcol be used for recreational fires. Finally, outdoor furnaces are prohibited within the City.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Deb Schulz (City staff) | dschulz@newportmn.com | 651-459-5677

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:
The City of Newport has placed the Best Practices spreadsheet on its Sustainability webpage, which outlines the City's progress on the best practices and actions. The City will continue to update the spreadsheet and provide updated information to the Council on a regular basis.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Deb Schulz (City staff) | dschulz@newportmn.com | 651-459-5677
1 star - Action 4: Conduct or support a broad sustainability education and action campaign involving:
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City had a booth at its annual Pioneer Day festival in 2012. The booth included a display outlining how residents can be green through their everyday lives and other facts about recycling in Minnesota. The City also has this information linked on its website.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Deb Schulz (City staff) | dschulz@newportmn.com | 651-459-5677

Green Business Development {BP no.25}

1 star - Action 2:

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.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City has placed resources for businesses and property owners on its website. Such resources include links to companies that provide personalized energy, environmental, sustainability, and waste audits and assistance.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Deb Schulz (City staff) | dschulz@newportmn.com | 651-459-5677
3 star - Action 7: Conduct or participate in a buy local campaign for community members and local businesses.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City, which is a partner of the Cottage Grove Area Chamber of Commerce, is participating in the Chamber's Buy Local Campaign that is taking place through June 18, 2012. Through the campaign, individuals can pick up a card at a participating sponsor (such as the City) and get it punched at 20 local stores, 3 of which are in Newport. At the end of the campaign, individuals can drop of their completed card for a chance to win several prizes.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
Cottage Grove Area Chamber of Commerce
For more information contact:
Deb Schulz (City staff) | dschulz@newportmn.com | 651-459-5677

Renewable Energy {BP no.26}

2 star - Action 1: Adopt wind energy and/or biomass ordinances that allow, enable, or encourage appropriate renewable energy installations.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City Council approved an ordinance for using alternative energy systems within the City. The ordinance can be found in Chapter 36, Article X of the City Code
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Deb Schulz (City staff) | dschulz@newportmn.com | 651-459-5677
1 star - Action 2: Promote resident/business purchases and/or generation of clean energy by:
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City regularly puts articles in its quarterly newsletter about being sustainable. This information is also available on the City's website.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Deb Schulz (City staff) | dschulz@newportmn.com | 651-459-5677
1 star - Action 5: Install a public sector/municipally-owned renewable energy technology, such as solar electric (PV), wind, biomass, solar hot water/air, or micro-hydro.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The city installed a solar garden at our public works site.
Outcome measures/metrics:
The city did not pay upfront but makes a monthly payment for the solar garden. The savings are substantial.
Descriptive File:
Xcel Energy and Green Solar Leasing
For more information contact:
Deb Schulz (City staff) | dschulz@newportmn.com | 651-459-5677

Local Food {BP no.27}

1 star - Action 2: Facilitate creation of home/community gardens, chicken & bee keeping, and incorporation of food growing areas/access in multifamily residential developments.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
In 2012, the Planning Commission and City Council approved ordinance amendments to Chapter 6, Animals, allowing for chickens and bees. Chickens are allowed on single-family properties in the R1, R1-A, RE, MX-1 and MX-4 Districts. A person is allowed 4 chickens per acre. The City Council issued 2 chicken permits in 2017. Bees are only allowed in the RE District. The amount of colonies allowed is based on the number of acres a property has. A property owner with 1 to 5 acres is allowed 8 colonies and the City Council determines the number of colonies for any property larger than 5 acres. To date, there have been no permits issued for bees.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Deb Schulz (City staff) | dschulz@newportmn.com | 651-459-5677
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:
The City established a community garden in 2011. The City is relocating the community garden in 2017. The new community garden will have 16 plots available for rent and one large "giving garden" plot. The giving garden grows fresh produce for the nearby food shelf.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Deb Schulz (City staff) | dschulz@newportmn.com | 651-459-5677