City Detail

Background Information

City of Robbinsdale
County: Hennepin
Population: 14,750
GreenStep City category: A
Full-time equivalent city staff (approx.): 117
Participating township, county, school:

GreenStep Coordinator

Richard McCoy
City Staff
763-531-1260
City web page relating to sustainability/GreenStep activities:
GreenStep City resolution: Click here to view the file.
GreenStep City status and date: STEP 1 ( )

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: 38
1 star actions: 21
2 star actions: 13
3 star actions: 4

Buildings and Lighting Buildings and Lighting

Efficient Existing Public Buildings {BP no.1}

2 star - Action 1:

Enter/update building information into the MN B3 Benchmarking database, and routinely enter monthly usage data for all city-owned buildings/infrastructure that consume energy/water.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2020
Implementation details:
Completed and Ongoing. Data for gas and electrical usage for main City owned buildings (City Hall, Public Safety and Public Works) is recorded starting 2010 to February 2020. Water usage and energy usage in smaller City owned buildings does not have as much history.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Tingley (City Staff) | jtingley@ci.robbinsdale.mn.us | 763-531-1253
1 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:
Year action initially completed: 2020
Implementation details:
Completed. Occupancy switches and dimmers have been installed at City owned buildings.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Tingley (City Staff) | jtingley@ci.robbinsdale.mn.us | 763-531-1253
2 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:
Year action initially completed: 2020
Implementation details:
Completed. Multiple projects have been undertaken including higher efficiency HVAC systems, LED lighting retrofits, automatic doors and window replacement.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Tingley (City Staff) | jtingley@ci.robbinsdale.mn.us | 763-531-1253
2 star - Action 4:

Implement information technology efforts and city employee engagement to reduce plug loads, building energy use and workflow efficiency.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2020
Implementation details:
Completed. Improved thermostats and controls that allow remote access allow better information for our operators. Education with staff has included explanation of the hazards and plug loads of individual heaters / fans.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Tingley (City Staff) | jtingley@ci.robbinsdale.mn.us | 763-531-1253

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:
Year action initially completed: 2020
Implementation details:
Completed and Ongoing. The City is participating with the Metropolitan Council in offering water efficiency grants to residents.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Tingley (City Staff) | jtingley@ci.robbinsdale.mn.us | 763-531-1253
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.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2020
Implementation details:
Completed and Ongoing. The City allows native prairie plantings as an alternate to turf grass. In addition, the City is participating with the Metropolitan Council in offering water efficiency grants to residents purchasing selected Water Sense equipment.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Tingley (City Staff) | jtingley@ci.robbinsdale.mn.us | 763-531-1253

Efficient Outdoor Lighting and Signals {BP no.4}

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: 2019
Implementation details:
Completed. The City has installed a number of solar powered / flashing LED street signs in the downtown to improve safety. Further installations will likely occur.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Tingley (City Staff) | jtingley@ci.robbinsdale.mn.us | 763-531-1253

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:
Year action initially completed: 2008
Implementation details:
Completed. The most recent (2040) Comprehensive Plan approval is in process. Previous 2030 Plan in effect.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Tingley (City Staff) | jtingley@ci.robbinsdale.mn.us | 763-531-1253
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: 2019
Implementation details:
Completed. The TOD Zoning Overlay District has been adopted.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Tingley (City Staff) | jtingley@ci.robbinsdale.mn.us | 763-531-1253
1 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:
Year action initially completed: 2008
Implementation details:
Completed.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Tingley (City Staff) | jtingley@ci.robbinsdale.mn.us | 763-531-1253

Resilient City Growth {BP no.7}

1 star - Action 1:

Limit barriers to higher density housing by including in the city zoning ordinance and zoning map:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2019
Implementation details:
Completed.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Tingley (City Staff) | jtingley@ci.robbinsdale.mn.us | 763-531-1253
3 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: 2019
Implementation details:
a. Include in the city zoning ordinance and zoning map a commercial district with reduced lot sizes and zero-lot-line setbacks, or a FAR minimum of 1. Completed. FAR = 1 is possible in TOD Overlay District.
b. Use density and floor area ratio (FAR) bonuses in selected residential zoning districts. Completed, Included in TOD Zoning Overlay District.
d. Allowing accessory dwelling units, single-room occupancy housing, senior housing, co-housing or tiny houses / apartments by right in selected zoning districts. Completed. Single Room Occupany = Studio / Efficiency Unit is allowed in selected zones.

Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Tingley (City Staff) | jtingley@ci.robbinsdale.mn.us | 763-531-1253

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:
Year action initially completed: 2020
Implementation details:
a. Adjacent to an existing employment or residential center. c. Accessible by regular transit service. Sacred Heart School is located close to a Transit Center. Robbinsdale Public Safety Building as well.


Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Tingley (City Staff) | jtingley@ci.robbinsdale.mn.us | 763-531-1253
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:
Year action initially completed: 1990s
Implementation details:
Completed. DD-1 Zone.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Tingley (City Staff) | jtingley@ci.robbinsdale.mn.us | 763-531-1253
1 star - Action 6:

Incorporate form-based zoning approaches into the zoning code, in those areas where a diverse mix of uses is desired.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2019
Implementation details:
Completed. TOD Overlay District.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Tingley (City Staff) | jtingley@ci.robbinsdale.mn.us | 763-531-1253

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:
Year action initially completed: 2013
Implementation details:
Completed. A Complete Streets Resolution (# 7241) was adopted on 16Jul13.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Tingley (City Staff) | jtingley@ci.robbinsdale.mn.us | 763-531-1253
1 star - Action 3:

Modify a street in compliance with the city's complete streets policy.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2018
Implementation details:
Completed. Noble Avenue reconstruction project in 2017/18.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Tingley (City Staff) | jtingley@ci.robbinsdale.mn.us | 763-531-1253
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.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2014
Implementation details:
Completed. A Pedestrian - Bicycle Plan was adopted on 02Sep14.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Tingley (City Staff) | jtingley@ci.robbinsdale.mn.us | 763-531-1253

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: 2018
Implementation details:
a. Produce/distribute route maps, signage or a web site. City Council has amended sign ordinance to permit Metro Transit install illuminated route signage.
b. Document increased bike facilities, such as racks, bike stations or showers. Multiple Bike Racks are available in our Downtown area.
c. Add bus infrastructure, such as signage, benches, shelters, park and ride lots, and real-time arrival data-streaming. Benches are provided at many bus stops and the City is working with Met Transit to have a new park and ride structure at the Robbinsdale Station as part of the Blue Line LRT Extension project.




Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Tingley (City Staff) | jtingley@ci.robbinsdale.mn.us | 763-531-1253

Environmental Management Environmental Management

Sustainable Purchasing {BP no.15}

1 star - 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.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2019
Implementation details:
The City is a member of a Community Solar Garden in Wright County.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Tingley (City Staff) | jtingley@ci.robbinsdale.mn.us | 763-531-1253

Community 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:
Year action initially completed: 2019
Implementation details:
Completed. The City has been a Tree City USA for 40 years as of 2019.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Tingley (City Staff) | jtingley@ci.robbinsdale.mn.us | 763-531-1253
2 star - Action 2:

Adopt best practices for urban tree planting/quality; require them in private developments and/or use them in at least one development project.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2016
Implementation details:
Completed. The City plants bareroot trees using an in-house Missouri Gravelbed Nursery system and follows MnDOT Landscape Specialist recommendations for quality, selection and planting guidelines.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Tingley (City Staff) | jtingley@ci.robbinsdale.mn.us | 763-531-1253
1 star - Action 3:

Budget for and achieve resilient urban canopy/tree planting goals.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2020
Implementation details:
Completed. The City plants approx 150 trees per year, using about 20 species and replaces every removed tree with at least 1 new tree.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Tingley (City Staff) | jtingley@ci.robbinsdale.mn.us | 763-531-1253
1 star - Action 4:

Maximize tree planting along your main downtown street or throughout the city.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2020
Implementation details:
Completed. Where not in conflict with utilities, the City plants to increase canopy coverage.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Tingley (City Staff) | jtingley@ci.robbinsdale.mn.us | 763-531-1253
1 star - Action 5:

Adopt a tree preservation or native landscaping ordinance.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2017
Implementation details:
Completed. Native plantings are permitted by Ordinance.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Tingley (City Staff) | jtingley@ci.robbinsdale.mn.us | 763-531-1253
3 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:
Year action initially completed: 2018
Implementation details:
a. Having trained tree specialists. Completed. The City has a full time Forester who is a certified Arborist, licensed tree inspector and pesticide applicator.
b. Supporting volunteer forestry efforts. Completed. The City uses "Citizen Pruner" groups who have been trained by U of M staff.
c. Adopting an EAB management plan / climate adaptation plan for the urban forest. Completed. The City has a detailed tree inventory, plants a diverse range of species and proactively treats for Emerald Ash Borer.




Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Tingley (City Staff) | jtingley@ci.robbinsdale.mn.us | 763-531-1253

Stormwater Management {BP no.17}

3 star - Action 4:

Create a stormwater utility that uses variable fees to incentivize stormwater infiltration, minimize the volume of and pollutants in runoff, and educate property owners.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2020
Implementation details:
The City does have a Stormsewer Utility to improve runoff and educate residents. Larger contributors are incentivized to reduce runoff areas with reduced fees.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Tingley (City Staff) | jtingley@ci.robbinsdale.mn.us | 763-531-1253
3 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: 2019
Implementation details:
a. Rain gardens/infiltration practices. Completed. The City utilizes infiltration galleries and raingardens where possible on its own projects and requires these facilities in redevelopment sites.
b. Rainwater harvesting practices. Completed. The City has partnered with Shingle Creek Watershed to install a cistern for rainwater reuse.
d. Pervious/permeable pavement or pavers. Completed. The City has partnered with Shingle Creek Watershed and University of MN to install porous asphalt and monitor effectiveness.
e. Green roofs / green walls. In process. The City's new Centralized Water Treatment Plant will include a green roof over the administrative portion of the building.
f. Tree trenches / tree boxes. Completed. New developments in the downtown have provided streetscape trees in a Stockholm Soil configuration to provide enhanced growing conditions and reduce pavement uplift.





Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
Shingle Creek Watershed District
For more information contact:
John Tingley (City Staff) | jtingley@ci.robbinsdale.mn.us | 763-531-1253
2 star - Action 6:

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

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2020
Implementation details:
Completed. The City utilizes prewetting and calibrated equipment to reduce salt usage while maintaining safety.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Tingley (City Staff) | jtingley@ci.robbinsdale.mn.us | 763-531-1253

Surface Water {BP no.19}

1 star - Action 2:

Conduct or support multi-party community conversations, assessments, plans and actions around improving local water quality and quantity.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2020
Implementation details:
Completed and Ongoing. The City is a member of the multi community Shingle Creek and Bassett Creek Watersheds whose primary purpose is to facilitate the management of water quality and quantity.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
Shingle Creek Watershed District; Bassett Creek Watershed District
For more information contact:
John Tingley (City Staff) | jtingley@ci.robbinsdale.mn.us | 763-531-1253
1 star - Action 6:

Implement an existing TMDL implementation plan.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2020
Implementation details:
Completed and Ongoing. The City operates with several TMDL implementation plans.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Tingley (City Staff) | jtingley@ci.robbinsdale.mn.us | 763-531-1253

Efficient Water and Wastewater Systems {BP no.20}

1 star - Action 2:

Plan and budget for motor maintenance and upgrades to assure the most energy efficient, durable and appropriate equipment is available when upgrades or break downs occur.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2020
Implementation details:
Completed and Ongoing. The City budgets and implements installation of well and high service pump motor VFD's for start and operational efficiencies.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Tingley (City Staff) | jtingley@ci.robbinsdale.mn.us | 763-531-1253
2 star - Action 3:

Establish an on-going budget and program for decreasing inflow and infiltration into sewer lines and losses in drinking water systems.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2019
Implementation details:
Completed and Ongoing. The City has a robust Capital Improvement Program that includes replacement of old infrastructure to reduce inflows (in sanitary sewer) and water losses (in water mains).
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Tingley (City Staff) | jtingley@ci.robbinsdale.mn.us | 763-531-1253
2 star - Action 4:

Optimize energy and chemical use at drinking water / wastewater facilities and decrease chloride in wastewater discharges.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2020
Implementation details:
Completed and Ongoing. The City was successful in applying to the State to operate the system at the lower level of fluoride required.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Tingley (City Staff) | jtingley@ci.robbinsdale.mn.us | 763-531-1253
1 star - Action 7:

Create a demand-side pricing program to reduce demands on water and wastewater systems.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2010s
Implementation details:
Completed. The City has an increasing block structure of rates to incentivize reduced water usage.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Tingley (City Staff) | jtingley@ci.robbinsdale.mn.us | 763-531-1253

Sustainable Consumption and Waste {BP no.22}

2 star - Action 5:

Arrange for a residential and/or business/institutional source-separated organics collection/management program.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2018
Implementation details:
Completed. The City has entered into a contract for Organics collection with Curbside Waste
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Tingley (City Staff) | jtingley@ci.robbinsdale.mn.us | 763-531-1253

Local Air Quality {BP no.23}

2 star - Action 3:

Conduct one or more policy or education/behavior change campaigns on the topics below and document:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2010s
Implementation details:
d. Replacement of gasoline-powered small equipment with lower polluting equipment. Completed. The City has replaced gasoline powered small equipment used for parks maintenance with rechargeable battery powered equipment.

Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Tingley (City Staff) | jtingley@ci.robbinsdale.mn.us | 763-531-1253
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: 2018
Implementation details:
Completed. A number of electric vehicle charging stations have been implemented at a recent grocery store redevelopment.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Tingley (City Staff) | jtingley@ci.robbinsdale.mn.us | 763-531-1253