City Detail

Background Information

City of Pine City
County: Pine
Population: 3203
GreenStep City category: B
Full-time equivalent city staff (approx.): 40
Participating township, county, school:

GreenStep Coordinator

Matthew Van Steenwyk
City Staff
320-629-2575
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: 15
1 star actions: 5
2 star actions: 7
3 star actions: 2

Buildings and Lighting Buildings and Lighting

Efficient Outdoor Lighting and Signals {BP no.4}

3 star - Action 2:

Purchase LEDs for all future street lighting and traffic signals.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The first such LED project was the County Road 8 reconstruction project 2014/2015. Also, the City's Capital Improvement Plan includes LED lighting for future projects.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
Pine County
For more information contact:
Andrew Mack, AICP (City staff) | Amack@pinecitygov.com | 320-629-2575
2 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:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Four-way stop sign downtown now solar-powered instead of electric flash. Location: 8th Ave. S. and Main St. S.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:

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 future land use plan that was adopted by the county or a regional entity.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Adopted a comprehensive plan in 2013 that contains supporting local food, lowering energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, promoting waste reduction and recycling and sustainable development.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Andrew Mack, AICP (City staff) | Amack@pinecitygov.com | 320-629-2575
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:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Each time the City adopts a new comprehensive plan, a committee is formed to ensure compatibility with the municipal development and other regulatory ordinances in the City.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
A committee has been formed to review the Municipal Development Ordinance to ensure compliance with and conformity to the 2013 Pine City Comprehensive Plan.
Descriptive File:
Ordinance Review Committee (Public)
For more information contact:
Andrew Mack, AICP (City staff) | Amack@pinecitygov.com | 320-629-2575

Resilient City Growth {BP no.7}

2 star - Action 3:

Achieve higher intensity commercial/industrial land uses through at least one of the following strategies:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Included in the city ordinance is a municipal development ordinance. The zoning map includes two districts that have zero setbacks: central district and mixed use district. Both districts require reduced lot sizes down to 5,000 sq. ft and encourage higher density residential housing. The mixed use zone is a transitional zone between commercial and residential development.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Andrew Mack, AICP (City staff) | Amack@pinecitygov.com | 320-629-2575

Mixed Uses {BP no.8}

3 star - Action 1:

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

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Pine City adopted an ordinance allowing for mixed-use zoning (shown in purple in attached map) after debate about revitalizing an area adjacent to downtown along 3rd Avenue SE. In 2009, the City participated in a Minnesota Design Team charrette and identified for mixed-use zoning possibilities and areas of in-fill development.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
2009 - Minnesota Design Team visit
2007 - Zoned property MXU (Mixed Use)
2014 - Condemned property in MXU District for future development.
Descriptive File: view file
Private property owners, developers, and the public
For more information contact:
Andrew Mack, AICP (City staff) | Amack@pinecitygov.com | 320-629-2575
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:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
In 2008, Pine City's city hall located in the Pine Government Center, an abandoned building in the center of downtown Pine City (due to the county building a new courthouse facility). The choice to located downtown made it adjacent to an existing employment or residential center, on a sidewalk network designed to facilitate and encourage access by walking and biking and accessible by regular Arrowhead transit service.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Andrew Mack, AICP (City staff) | Amack@pinecitygov.com | 320-629-2575
1 star - Action 3:

Modify a planned unit development ordinance to emphasize mixed use development, to limit residential PUDs to areas adjacent to commercial development, and/or to add sustainability features.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
In 2006, the City adopted new ordinances allowing for Planned Unit Developments (PUDs). It allows an overlay of zoning to accommodate a mix of residential/commercial land uses.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Since the PUD ordinance has been in effect, there have been a total of eight PUDs in Pine City.
Descriptive File: view file
Public, Developers and Ordinance Review Committee
For more information contact:
Andrew Mack, AICP (City staff) | Amack@pinecitygov.com | 320-629-2575

Transportation Transportation

Mobility Options {BP no.12}

2 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:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The city produced a historical walking map of Pine City to get people out walking more. There is an established bike route that goes through the city. A grant from the Statewide Health Improvement Program helped fund two bike racks and signage for routes. City received $125,000 from DNR to build a trail through the community.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
City Hall has a Walk Score of 62.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Andrew Mack, AICP (City staff) | Amack@pinecitygov.com | 320-629-2575
1 star - Action 2:

Conduct an Active Living campaign such as a Safe Routes to School program.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Pine City received a grant from the Minnesota Department of Health's Statewide Health Improvement Program to launch a Safe Routes to School Program. As part of the program there is an annual walk to school day. The football team and high school students are recruited to walk kids to school in a big parade like procession. Community members are also involved in the annual event.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Andrew Mack, AICP (City staff) | Amack@pinecitygov.com | 320-629-2575
1 star - Action 3:

Prominently identify mobility options: transit; paratransit/Dial-A-Ride; ridesharing/cab services; rental cars; bikes; airports.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Arrowhead Transit serves Pine City. There are fixed stops with benches in a few locations. Dial-a-ride is also available as an option. There are Dial-a-Ride brochures displayed prominently in the City Hall and Chamber of Commerce. Cab services are also available.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Andrew Mack, AICP (City staff) | Amack@pinecitygov.com | 320-629-2575

Efficient City Fleets {BP no.13}

Pending - Action 1:

Efficiently use your existing fleet of city vehicles by encouraging trip bundling, video conferencing, carpooling, vehicle sharing and incentives/technology.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
planned
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Andrew Mack, AICP (City staff) | Amack@pinecitygov.com | 320-629-2575

Environmental Management Environmental Management

Stormwater Management {BP no.17}

2 star - Action 5:

Adopt and implement guidelines or design standards/incentives for at least one of the following stormwater infiltration/reuse practices:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
During the planning of a 2 phase street reconstruction project in the Woodpecker Ridge neighborhood, the city decided to pursue a rain garden design for stormwater management vs. traditional curb and gutter stormwater management. Residents were involved in the project planning and implementation process. Volunteers were recruited to help plant the gardens over two days. The rain garden design ended up to cost less than the traditional curb and gutter design. The purpose of the rain gardens installation was to reduce runoff into the nearby Snake River and Cross Lake and improve water quality. The engineering firm that consulted on the project found that sediment run-off decreased as a result of the gardens. This rain garden project is the largest of its kind in greater MN.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Andrew Mack, AICP (City staff) | Amack@pinecitygov.com | 320-629-2575

Local Air Quality {BP no.23}

2 star - Action 5:

Install, assist with and promote publicly available EV charging stations or public fueling stations for alternative fuel vehicles. 

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Level 2 EV Plug and DC Fast Charger (domestic and import EVs). The first DC fast charger between the Twin Cities and Duluth-Superior. The Level 2 is free for public use and it costs $0.20/min. for the fast charger.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Zef Energy reports steady usage of the station even prior to its official launch. Plugshare.com reviews are very favorable.
Descriptive File:
Zef Energy, Pine County, Mn/DOT, East Central Energy, Family Pathways
For more information contact:
Andrew Mack, AICP (City staff) | Amack@pinecitygov.com | 320-629-2575

Resilient Economic & Community Development Resilient Economic and Community Development

Local Food {BP no.27}

2 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:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
With a $10,000 grant from the Initiative Foundation, the Pine City Farmers' market was revitalized in 2005. The City played a major role in building momentum for the market and increasing the number of vendors. The City website currently contains a vender handbook and registration form. Throughout the growing season, the market ranges in size from 5-32 vendors. After about 2 years, the market transitioned from being managed by the city to being managed privately. It is now self-sustaining. The City participated in a "Buy Fresh, Buy Local" campaign to promote the market. City staff get calls frequently from the community with questions about the market. Pine City is also a member of the Minnesota Farmers' Market Association.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
Initiative Foundation; Minnesota Farmers' Market Association
For more information contact:
Andrew Mack, AICP (City staff) | Amack@pinecitygov.com | 320-629-2575