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    City of Apple Valley  


Background Information

County:   Dakota
Population:   49,084
GreenStep City category:   A

Full-time equivalent city staff (approx.):   187

Participating township, county, school:


GreenStep City resolution:   Click here to view the file.
GreenStep City status and date:   STEP 3 (06/23/2015)

GreenStep Coordinator

Charless Grawe
City staff
CGrawe@ci.apple-valley.mn.us
952-953-2508

City web page relating to sustainability/GreenStep activities:
http://www.ci.apple-valley.mn.us/index.aspx?n

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 Files below summarize completed city actions in a short Word file. Step 4 recognition is awarded each June to cities who report a minimum number of optional (and a few high-priority/core) metrics for the previous calendar year. These metrics - see guidance documents for them at http://www.betterenergy.org/step4 - aim to show the aggregate, quantitative results of taking multiple GreenStep actions. Step 5 cities show improvement beyond minimum thresholds in the Step 4 metrics. See yearly data in the Metrics Files below.

Assessment Files
2015 - click to view assessment

Metrics Files
2016 - click to view Metrics


Best Practice Actions Underway and Completed

Completed actions are denoted by stars. Mouse over a star for its definition.
Total completed actions: 55     1-star actions: 42     2-star actions: 8     3-star actions: 5    







Buildings and Lighting   Buildings and Lighting

Efficient Existing Public Buildings
{ BP no. 1 }

Complete the Building Editor for each city-owned building; identify the person responsible for routinely entering data; enter current (at least once/90 days), consecutive monthly energy use data ongoing; also best to enter 12 consecutive months of historical energy use data.
Complete 1 Star criterion and enter 24 consecutive months of historical data; routinely validate newly entered data by looking at patterns/trends and inconsistencies; correct inaccurate entries and identify potential opportunities for energy savings.
Complete 1 and 2 Star criteria, routinely ID energy-related operations and maintenance issues and poorer performing buildings for follow-up action; routinely enter current and consecutive (monthly or quarterly as available) water use data ongoing.
Action 1: Enter building information into the Minnesota B3 Benchmarking database and routinely enter monthly energy, water use data for all city-owned buildings.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Implement changes in one poorer-performing building and summarize the actions taken: updating temperature, ventilation and lighting schedules and setbacks; installing building-wide computer and office equipment power management software; assigning responsibility for turning off manual lights and other shared equipment; assuring that routine HVAC maintenance schedules are thorough and implemented at appropriate intervals; revising janitorial schedules to day-time hours; adjusting janitorial responsibilities to include regular cleaning of sensors, lamps and HVAC vents; installing lower-flow faucet aerators, dish sprayers, and showerheads to reduce hot water use.
Complete 1 Star criterion for two buildings. Post the Print Screen of the Baseline tab for one of the buildings with the Energy gauge showing at least a 5% decrease in energy use compared to the baseline period [12 months immediately prior to implementing changes]. Continue fine-tuning operations and maintenance procedures and monitoring energy usage to identify opportunities for additional savings.
Complete 1 and 2 Star criteria for two buildings. Use B3 to report at least a 10% decrease in energy use compared to the baseline period.
Action 2: Make no/low cost indoor lighting and operational changes in city-owned/school buildings to reduce energy costs.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Complete retrocommissioning and/or retrofitting work on one building. Summarize the actions taken. Update the B3 Building Editor as needed and change the Baseline Time Period to report energy/cost savings.
Complete retrocommissioning and/or retrofitting work financed by an energy performance contract, utility rebate or other means on two or more buildings. Post a print screen of B3 data to report energy/cost reductions.
Complete 1 and 2 Star criteria. In addition, use GESP or implement an internal program or use an external program/vendor that institutionalizes, and provides funding / incentives for, ongoing reductions in energy use by city-owned buildings (e.g. internal loan fund, shared savings with employees, capital budgeting based on energy savings, performance incentives and accountability, etc.).
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.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Report one city building or school, or county/other government building, that used a green building standard or certification or code (3rd party verification not required) OR that has several sustainability features that were NOT required by city policy. Report city policies that require green building features under action 3.1; report park buildings under best practice action 18.7
Report, for 2 or more buildings, use of a green building standard or certification or code or city-determined list of sustainability features buildings; third-party verification not necessary. Report energy use reduction in remodels.
Show that a new or remodeled building has been certified at gold-equivalent or better; report at least one building that meets the SB 2030 energy standard.
Action 5: Document that the new construction or major remodeling of a public building has met the SB 2030 energy standard or has met or qualified under a green building or energy framework.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Efficient Existing Private Buildings
{ BP no. 2 }

Program activities include but are not limited to: information/education efforts via newsletters and the like; work with the local utility, local Community Action Program, local bank, or others; promote utility load management programs (fuel-switching, AC/water heater cycling); program participation reports. Report a rebate program to promote purchases of WaterSense-rated appliances under action 2.5; report work with businesses under action 25.2; report broad sustainability campaigns that go beyond energy efficiency under action 24.4
One or more of: provide more in-depth energy use reports; explicitly focus on improved indoor air quality; partner with others on low-interest loans, assistance to homeowners on weatherization, efficiency improvements; resident participation in the National Mayor's Challenge for Water Conservation.
Participate in Xcel's Partners in Energy program; create a city program and report on number of households participating (e.g. took advantage of rebates, loans, grants, attended workshops, received home energy audit) and dollars or BTUs or therms saved.
Action 1: Create or participate in a marketing/outreach program to promote/achieve residential energy/water use reduction and energy efficiency.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Identify examples including building lighting upgrades (including exit lights, lighting equipment and controls), and other building/operational improvements in energy and water use and wastewater reduction. Report renewable energy installations under action 26.6
Identify businesses using a green building framework such as LEED to build, operate and maintain their buildings and operations, or businesses currently using Energy Star's Portfolio Manager or similar energy-tracking software.
Identify examples of extensive daylighting or electrochromic window glass and consequent energy/cost savings, installation of a greywater system, or similar innovative improvements.
Action 4: Describe energy/water efficiency outcomes and other green building practices at businesses located within/nearby the city.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Summarize watering ordinance; provide education/information around lawn watering and home water conservation and rain barrels. Report conservation rate structures and dynamic user feedback under action 20.7, rain gutter disconnects from sewers under action 20.3; education about home water softeners under 20.4
Report residential water use under 75 gal/capita/day; modify and adopt a model landscaping ordinance that encourages low water-use landscaping; assist owners of automatic or underground irrigation systems to install the state-required rain/moisture sensors; report water use reductions; become a WaterSense Partner.
Create and report on a rebate or feebate program to promote purchases of WaterSense- and/or Energy Star-rated appliances; review building water conservation strategies during development reviews; as code allows facilitate household/building site rainwater harvesting/reuse; prohibit city water from supplying lawn irrigation systems.
Action 5: Conserve/protect drinking/groundwater resources by creating a watering ordinance, water-wise landscaping ordinance/guidance, WaterSense purchasing program, or guidance on rainwater harvesting and home water softener use.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


New Green Buildings
{ BP no. 3 }

pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 1: Require by city policy that new city-owned buildings be built using the SB 2030 energy standard and/or a green building framework.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Efficient Outdoor Lighting and Signals
{ BP no. 4 }

Signal lights go into “flash mode” during certain hours of the day; report synchronized traffic signals, flashing yellow left turn arrow signals, installation of detectors in at least 10% of city signals (operated under traffic actuated/responsive mode). Report roundabouts under best practice action 11.6
Work with the county/MnDOT to interconnect traffic signals and coordinate them in one corridor; install one or more bicycle crossing signal detectors; implement traffic signs over signals in lower-traffic areas to minimize costs
Provide estimates of reduced delays, gas use, stops; work with the county/MnDOT to interconnect/coordinate among traffic signals and synchronize them along several corridors.
Action 4: Coordinate traffic signals and/or optimize signal timing so as minimize car idling at intersections yet maintain safe and publicly acceptable vehicle speeds.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Replace 1/3 of city's existing traffic signals.
Replace 2/3 of city's existing traffic signals; replace half and document savings.
Replace 100% of city's existing traffic signals.
Action 8: Replace the city's existing traffic signals with LEDs.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Land Use   Land Use

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

Adopt a comp plan/amended comp plan that is less than ten years old or adopt a land use plan that was adopted by the county or a regional entity less than 15 years ago, or Category B & C cities may adopt a city vision that looks at least 20 years into the future.
Include in your plan a sustainability section/chapter, an active living/placemaking/bike-ped section, or integrate sustainability goals and strategies into all chapters of your comprehensive plan, or articulate land development principles for creating a complete, compact and connected community. Report climate protection or energy independence goals and objectives under action 6.5
Adopt a development goal that new/infill projects generate enough tax revenue to pay for the related public infrastructure maintenance/replacement over multiple life cycles; reference a capital improvement plan that catalogues public system maintenance obligations by date and cost; create 'green zones' that focus environmental improvements in under-served areas of the city; adopt the Precautionary Principle.
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.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Document where in the zoning code or development regulation the comprehensive plan is referenced as a foundational document or that the purpose of the code is to implement the comprehensive plan.
Comprehensive plan referenced in all land use and development ordinances and regulations in addition to zoning code ordinances; zoning decisions are required to reference/be in compliance with the comp plan.
Conduct an audit of ordinances; individual ordinances or ordinance sections should be introduced with a "Purposes" section that includes language such as the following: "The XXX regulations specifically implement the following goals from the Comprehensive Plan:"
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.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Include plan requirements (in a comp plan or another planning document) on coordinated action with surrounding or overlapping jurisdictions for several of these issues: land use, watershed/groundwater impacts, transportation, sewer and water, economic development, housing and foreclosures, police, fire, health; adopt a wellhead / source water protection plan.
Convene discussions or enter into agreements (joint service or others) with surrounding communities on at least 3 of these issues; adopt a comp plan goal to monitor and/or remediate all LUSTs within the city's DWSMA/SWPA.
Jointly invest in infrastructure to avoid duplication or improve performance; as part of inter-city discussions mentor another GreenStep city.
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.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Resilient City Growth
{ BP no. 7 }

Have at least one single-family zoning district or selected area that requires or allows 7-unit/acre (or greater).
A mixed- or single-use zoning district allowing 15+ DUA; a district that sets a minimum density for single family at 7 dwelling units/acre and minimum gross density for multi-family at 15 DUA (a level that supports 1 bus/15 min.). Multi-family housing includes attached housing, apartments and condos.
Allow 2,3,4-plexes by right in most/all residential districts; have a minimum residential gross density of 20 units/acre when adjacent to a permanent transit node or pedestrian-oriented commercial retail district.
Action 1: Limit barriers to higher density housing by including in the city zoning ordinance and zoning map:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. Neighborhood single-family density at 7 units/acre or greater.

b. Multi-family housing at a gross density of at least 15 units/acre adjacent to a commercial zoning district or transit node.


Use a process/ordinance (planned unit development or other) that allows increased density and approves development on substandard lots through flexible frontage and lot sizes; create a density bonus in one residential or commercial zoning district; allow accessory dwelling units in one single-family zoning district or overlay area.
Have a residential cluster development ordinance/process; have a density bonus in multiple areas in the city; bonus for underground parking or proximity to transit or multifamily playground space; allow accessory dwelling units and/or co-housing developments in multiple single-family districts; allow tiny houses (~400 sq. ft.) on small lots or small (~350 sq. ft.) apartments.
Create an additional density bonus linked to a transfer of development rights program that protects agricultural or natural resource land on the fringe of the urban area. Tie ADUs explicity into a plan for increasing affordable housing and/or reducing homelessness. Allow rooming or boarding houses; uncap the number of roommates who may share a dwelling unit.
Action 2: Achieve higher density housing through at least two of the following strategies:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. Incorporate a flexible lot size/frontage requirement for infill development.

b. Use density and floor area ratio (FAR) bonuses in selected residential zoning districts.

c. Clustered residential development; tie a regulatory standard to comprehensive plan language defining compact city expansion zones that limit low-density development.

d. Allowing accessory dwelling units, senior housing, co-housing or tiny houses / apartments by right in selected zoning districts.


Document the existence of a district meeting the FAR standard and/or zero-lot line.
Achieve 1 Star rating AND: locate the higher intensity district near higher density housing; have at least one co-working office space in your city.
The number of retail entrances per 330 feet in a downtown retail district ranges between 8 and 13; employment density of 25+ jobs/acre in compact areas; a maximum block perimeter of 2000' in a downtown zoning district.
Action 3: Achieve higher intensity commercial/industrial land uses through at least one of the following strategies:     [Click here for self-reported city 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.

b. Set targets for the minimum number of employees/acre in different commercial zones.


Offer tax-increment financing, land write-downs or other loan/grant tools. Report infill development/design standards and programs under action 5.5
Offer a building permit fee discount or expedited permit review; use direct purchase & demolition.
Enact graduated density zoning; offer at least one incentive tool for life-cycle housing; report a completed project such as a senior care facility.
Action 4: Provide incentives for infill projects, or for life-cycle housing at or near job or retail centers, or for achieving an average net residential density of seven units per acre.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Mixed Uses
{ BP no. 8 }

Explain which attributes are met.
Parking spaces are significantly below the parking standard due to bike/ped/transit access, shared parking, municipal lot.
A public school is located along a public transit line and provides incentives (such as discounted bus passes) for students to use the line.
Action 2: Locate or lease a school, city building or other government facility that has at least two of these attributes:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. Adjacent to an existing employment or residential center.

b. Designed to facilitate and encourage access by walking and biking.

c. Accessible by regular transit service.


Ordinance allows mixed uses.
Ordinance: requires residential-only PUDs to be adjacent to commercial development or to be served by frequent transit; encourages EV charging stations.
Ordinance: requires a mix of uses; requires installation of EV charging stations.
Action 3: Modify a planned unit development ordinance to emphasize mixed use development or to limit residential PUDs to areas adjacent to commercial development.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Two or more uses in multi-story buildings favored in the comp plan with overall goals or design guidelines.
Adopt incentives (density bonus, development assistance) for vertical mixed use development such as housing above commercial, shared parking in the downtown core.
An incentive and/or requirement for inclusionary (affordable) housing in at least one development; live/work vertical units allowed by right.
Action 7: Create incentives for vertical mixed-use development in appropriate locations (downtown, commercial districts near colleges or universities, historic commercial districts).     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


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

Work with community members in establishing design goals or designs standards, publish the standards, and ensure that the standards are provided to everyone proposing development in the corridor/cluster; plan for at least 1 EV charging station.
Adopt an overlay district; in the public process to set design standards, use visual preference tools (such as a door-to-door iPad-enabled survey) to develop both goals and designs; zone residential beyond 300 meters of a corridor with annualized average daily traffic greater than 10,000 vehicles.
Require or provide incentives (design assistance, permit fee reductions, etc) for new development and redevelopment to adhere to the goals and designs.
Action 1: Establish design goals for at least one highway/auto-oriented corridor/cluster.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Adopt an access management overlay district or access management standards where highways access auto-oriented commercial development; install/work with others on living snow fence plantings.
Achieve 1 Star rating AND define auto-oriented commercial zoning districts in clusters rather than continuous strips; minimize superblocks and increase quality pedestrian passages between buildings.
Include conservation buffer requirements and site residential areas and vulnerable populations more than 650 feet from a major road (average annual daily traffic count over 40,000).
Action 3: Adopt infrastructure design standards that protect the economic and ecologic functions of the corridor through clustering of development and incorporating access management standards.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Design for Natural Resource Conservation
{ BP no. 10 }

Adopt woodland BMPs as performance standards within development regulation, protecting wooded areas during the development process. This action is focused at the subdivision level and protection of tree stands (consistent with best practice planning action 6.4). Individual tree preservation ordinances should be reported under BP action 16.5
Identify high-value woodland areas within the community and adopt performance standards that maintain the natural system integrity of the woodland stands, supporting comprehensive plan action 6.4
Conduct an MLCCS natural resource inventory (consistent with action 1 of this best practice) and write natural resource design standards that protect woodland areas at the subdivision level, ensuring green corridor connections between individual stands or natural resources of different types.
Action 3: For cities within metropolitan areas, incorporate woodland best management practices addressing protection of wooded areas into zoning or development review.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Transportation   Transportation

Living Streets
{ BP no. 11 }

A city council resolution to develop standards; a policy governing city-owned streets; routine consideration of complete streets elements in all streets projects; explicit complete streets comp/strategic plan direction, that expresses the city's intent to facilitate multi-modal transportation (at least one route for each mode); include consideration of EV charging stations.
A city-council-adopted complete streets policy and implementation criteria.
A Living Streets policy; modify street design standards/practices according to policy, addressing multimodal transportation, trees and stormwater; include provisions/performance measures that account for the needs of the most vulnerable users, aiming to deliver benefits to all users equitably, particularly vulnerable users and the most underinvested and underserved communities; possible additional elements include align new streets to give buildings energy-efficient passive solar orientations; address public art in the street right-of-way; use a sustainable infrastructure tool; give consideration to growing use of ridesharing services and shared autonomous vehicles (SAVs) by, for example, planning for more drop-off road sections.
Action 1: Adopt a complete streets policy or a living streets policy, which addresses landscaping and stormwater.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Summarize the complete streets elements - grey infrastructure such as adding sidewalks, bumpouts, bike lanes, truck routes, broad band, EV charging station, smart grid.
Summarize the complete streets (re)construction project and its green infrastructure elements - street trees, vegetation, rain gardens, permeable pavement, stormwater capture and re-use, etc. Note if a utility franchise fee (vs. special assessments) was used.
Use the Envision Sustainable Infrastructure Rating System; use a Pavement Management Plan to incorporate complete street goals; implement a "dig once" plan/policy (installing conduit/other underground capacity that can accept future infrastructure such as fiber optics without digging up the street); report lower cost of project (capital costs and/or anticipated maintenance costs) compared to reconstructing roads with no changes.
Action 3: Modify a street in compliance with the city's complete streets policy.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Measures such as streetscaping, bump-outs, raised cross walks, intersection markings, medians and narrower lane widths. Report temporary or permanent parklet installations under action 14.1
Measures such as roundabouts, and road diets where 3 lanes replace 4 lanes of a road with under 20,000 average annual daily traffic counts; adopt a traffic calming policy.
Measures from street reclaiming, naked streets, shared space, woonerfs, and Paint the Pavement approaches; diverging diamond interchange, J-turn lane, reverse diagonal parking; a multi-modal Level of Service metric developed and applied to road projects; conversion of underused/redundant roads to gravel roads, stormwater management, energy generation, etc.
Action 6: Implement traffic calming policy/measures, including road diets, roundabouts, shared space and depaving, in at least one street redevelopment project.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Mobility Options
{ BP no. 12 }

A basic map that shows (by neighborhood if a larger city) key civic/commercial sites, best bike and pedestrian routes, and transit routes and schedules; as needed distribute print materials in different languages; report increases in walk/bike counts.
Installed infrastructure such as designed bike or pedestrian or transit facilities like park and ride lots (report sidewalks/bike lanes under action 11.4), OR document the increase in employeer-offered transportation fringe benefits, OR report a Walk Score of 70+ or an increase in your city's Walk Score.
Be recognized as a Bicycle or Walk Friendly Community, OR require routine installation of infrastructure, such as bike parking, for all new multifamily and non-residential developments, OR allow property owners to substitute bike parking spaces for required car parking spaces.
Action 1: Increase walking, biking and transit use by one or more of the following means:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. Produce/distribute route maps, signage or a web site.

b. Document increased bike facilities, such as racks, bike stations or showers.

c. Add bus infrastructure, such as signage, benches, shelters, park and ride lots, and real-time arrival data-streaming.

d. Increase the number of employers promoting multiple commuting options, including offering qualified transportation fringe benefits instead of only a tax-free parking fringe benefit.

e. Be recognized as a Walk Friendly or Bicycle Friendly Community.


Add or expand transit in your city or between your city and other destinations, working with other units of local governments as needed.
Add/expand Saturday or Sunday bus service; add dial-a-ride to regular service; assist in the creation of or promote the existance of a car sharing business or bike sharing business/service; embed a transit station/stop in a transit-oriented/mixed-use district. Report supportive changes in parking requirements under action 14.1
Bike-sharing/scooter-sharing in a small city; schedule transit service for at least every 30 minutes during peak hours so that 75% of city addresses are within 1/2 mile of a transit stop; incorporate payment for both local transit and ride-shares (and connections between the two) on a single smartphone app.
Action 6: Add/expand transit service, or promote car/bike sharing.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Efficient City Fleets
{ BP no. 13 }

Survey each fleet vehicle by type, MPG and use; implement at least one right-size or down-size improvement (for example, use of a sedan instead of a pick-up truck for inspection work, use of a full electric utility vehicle in parks/public works, or one multi-purpose vehicle instead of two vehicles).
Adopt a vehicle purchasing policy/practice; right-size all vehicles in one portion of the city's fleet (for example, police, fire, public works, inspections) and report any vehicle reductions and improvement in the fleet's average MPG.
Right-size all vehicles in the city's fleet and report vehicle reductions and improvement in the fleet's average MPG.
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.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Monitor fuel usage and costs on a regular basis; report data to fleet managers and users; implement maintenance schedules that optimize vehicle life and fuel efficiency; replace solvent-based vehicle parts washing with aqueous-based; adopt a no-idling policy/practice or conduct training for more efficient driving. Report small electric utility vehicles under 13.2
Achieve a 1-Star rating and complete one or more of: (a) purchase or lease at least one hybrid-electric vehicle (EV); (b) add vehicles (and fueling stations as needed) using lower-carbon fuels (ethanol flexfuel, compressed natural gas, straight vegetable oil, biodiesel above the State-mandated 5%, other advanced biofuels); (c) add other alternative fuel vehicles; (d) adopt an EV policy/plan.
Achieve a 1-Star rating and add a highway-capable full-electric vehicle, and/or install a solar-charging EV station (or purchase renewable electricity for EV charging). Report EV charging stations that the public can use under best practice action 23.5
Action 3: Phase-in no-idling practices, operational and fuel changes, and equipment changes including electric vehicles, for city or local transit fleets.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Environmental Management   Environmental Management

Sustainable Purchasing
{ BP no. 15 }

Have a written policy/guidelines/practices specifying at minimum the purchase of Energy Star equipment/appliances and recycled-content paper (at least 30% post-consumer). Report street lighting/traffic signal policy/purchases under action 4.2; vehicle policy/purchases under 13.2 and 13.3
Have a formal policy adopted by the city council; note if this includes centralized purchasing into one office/person.
For the city’s top 10 categories of spend, track the purchases of sustainable products/services purchased annually compared to non-sustainable products/services purchased; join with other cities in joint purchasing of environmentally preferable products and summarize EPP purchases.
Action 1: Adopt a sustainable purchasing policy or administrative guidelines/practices directing that the city purchase at least:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. EnergyStar certified equipment and appliances and

b. Paper containing at least 30% post-consumer recycled content.


Purchase above the renewable electricity grid mix required in state law: purchased renewable energy credits ("green tags") and/or a city government subscription of electricity from a community solar garden (note: some CSG reports are under action 26.6) and/or a "third-party" agreement whereby the city leases roof (or other) space to a company that installs & owns generating capacity sold to the city. Report under action 26.5 city use of 'free energy' generated by city-owned renewable energy technology; report city promotion of resident/business purchases from a community solar garden under 26.4
Purchase electricity, natural gas, liquid fuels & steam heat such that in total energy content renewables make up at least 35%; report if municipal utility generation mix is above that required by MN law.
Purchase 100% renewable electricity for city operations from a solar garden, 3rd party, or via green tags; purchase electricity, natural gas, liquid fuels & steam heat such that in total energy content renewables make up at least 50%; join the Green Power Partnership.
Action 2: Purchase energy used by city government - via green tags, community solar garden, 3rd party - with a higher renewable percentage than required by Minnesota law.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


By practice seek to purchase locally; develop a list of locally-produced products for use by city staff; make the list available to residents and businesses.
Achieve 1 Star rating AND require purchase of a set percentage of city government purchases to be from the list.
Develop list in conjunction with adjacent communities (cities or counties) to recognize regional economic base and increase diversity of goods and products on the list.
Action 3: Establish a local purchasing preference and, working with a local business association, develop a list of locally-produced products and suppliers for common purchases.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Require that all city purchases of water-using products, and all city development or renovation, meet WaterSense certification.
Achieve 1 Star AND publicize the City's requirement and encourage citizens and businesses to purchase WaterSense products.
Run a rebate program for business/residents to purchase WaterSense products; join EPA WaterSense program; achieve 1 Star AND work with local vendors to stock and routinely promote WaterSense products.
Action 4: Require purchase of U.S. EPA WaterSense-certified products.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Follow latest MnDOT specifications for recycled glass and aggregate in roadbeds.
All paving projects incorporate recycled asphalt (RAP); report use of warm-mix asphalt; use recycled plastic manhole adjusting rings; use MnDOT compost specification 3890 for soil amendments in parks, boulevards, stormwater installations.
Follow MnDOT specs for RAP and shingles (asphalt shingle manufacturing scrap and/or shingle tear-off scrap) in asphalt mixtures.
Action 5: Set minimum standards for the percentage of recycled-content material in asphalt and roadbed aggregate or other construction materials, and for compost and warm mix asphalt use.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Urban Forests and Soils
{ BP no. 16 }

Certified for current year.
Certified for 30 or more years, or recent recipient of a Growth award.
Certified for at least 10 years with an annual tree budget (for maintenance, planting, replacements, removals) of at least $8 per resident (4X the Tree City requirement) or have calculated and publicized the financial and other benefits of trees to your city.
Action 1: Certify as a Tree City USA.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Street trees are provided on both sides of at least 60% of the main downtown street at intervals averaging no more than about 40 feet, excluding driveways, utility vaults and street portions inhospitable to trees. Report living snow fences under action 9.3
Major effort providing or offering residents / businesses trees to plant on private property.
Maximize climate resilient tree planting/landscaping on the entire blocks along mainstreet by, for example, funneling money from a business improvement district to alley plantings, pocket/corner parks, parking lot plantings behind buildings, a community depaving party, and the like.
Action 4: Maximize tree planting along your main downtown street or throughout the city.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Enact an ordinance that preserves/replaces trees and soils and encourages resilient, non-invasive landscaping. Report protection of large wooded areas by means of zoning or development review under best practice action 10.3
Address tree preservation and soils conservation on both public and private lands; enact requirements such as removing requirements to establish turf grass (this does not refer to removing maintenance standards for turf grass) and permitting resilient, non-invasive native landscaping throughout the city.
Adopt quantitative performance metrics; require approval of a tree preservation plan before development (tree inventory, tree saving zones, soil preservation measures, tree replacement for damaged/destroyed trees at a 2:1 ratio or greater).
Action 5: Adopt a tree preservation or native landscaping ordinance.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Stormwater Management
{ BP no. 17 }

Install, require and/or provide guidelines for raingardens, rain barrels, parking lots (salt use reduction/alternatives, French drains, etc.) or pervious pavement at sites where the practice was not implemented to satisfy a requirement in an NPDES/SDS MS4 and/or Construction Stormwater permit or Industrial Stormwater permit; report that all city staff are developing guidelines that use the updated precipitation data in Atlas 14 or better, future predicted precipitation; note required use of compost as a soil amendment.
Install, require, incentivize and/or provide guidelines for green roofs, cisterns, neighborhood water storage, rainwater harvesting to supplant irrigation with drinking water, and other stormwater reuse. Report storage and reuse of stormwater for golf course/parkland irrigation under best practice action 18.5c.
Have an ongoing retrofit program to reduce pollutant loads and stormwater volume from existing neighborhoods that requires one or more of the stormwater practices in this action; aim for zero stormwater discharge in a development project.
Action 5: Adopt and implement guidelines or design standards/incentives for at least one of the following stormwater infiltration/reuse practices:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. Rain gardens/infiltration practices.

b. Rainwater harvesting practices.

c. Green alleys or green parking lots.

d. Pervious/permeable pavement or pavers.

e. Green roofs / green walls.

f. Tree trenches / tree boxes.

g. Incorporate compost and/or native plants into landscape design.


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 6: Reduce de-icing salt use to prevent permanent surfacewater and groundwater pollution.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Parks and Trails
{ BP no. 18 }

Adopt a Parks/Trail plan; have in the city's subdivision chapter code language requiring dedication of open spaces, parks, and drainage easements or, in lieu of that, cash with each new subdivision. Report conservation design to create wildlife corridors under action 10.1
Dedication required for new developments over 1 acre; create and adopt a conceptual parks and green connections plan for greenfield areas having or planned to have urban services or redevelopment areas; integrate into existing Park/Open Space/Trail Plan if one is in place.
Achieve 2 star rating AND require demonstration of bike/ped trail connections for all new housing to existing trail network as part of the subdivision submittal.
Action 2: Plan and budget for a network of parks, green spaces, water features and trails for areas where new development is planned.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


There exist at least 7 acres of municipal park land per 1000 residents.
At least 20% of total city land area is in protected green infrastructure (parks and protected natural resource areas, trails, publicly accessible school green space).
90% or more of residents are within a 10-minute walk, or within one-half mile of, a park or other protected green/blue space; report your ParkScore
Action 3: Achieve minimum levels of city green space and maximize the percent within a ten-minute walk of community members.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Create an annual event (can be in cooperation with other organizations) or ongoing 'adopt a park' effort for volunteer trash cleanup of open space, buckthorn removal, etc. for parks or selected public open space areas. Report gardens plots in city parks under BP 27.3
In addition to cleanup and removal of exotics (1 Star), engage community members in annual restoration of natural areas (replanting shoreland buffers, restoring prairie, etc.).
Create and fund an annual city-wide event for cleanup and restoration, engaging residents in most neighborhoods and creating a public promotion around the event.
Action 8: Develop a program to involve community members in hands-on land restoration and stewardship projects.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Surface Water
{ BP no. 19 }

Have a shoreland ordinance approved by the DNR or one consistent with state-wide shoreland standards (MR 6120.2500-06120.3900).
Adopt the Alternative Shoreland Standards or similar alternatives reviewed and consistent with recommendations of the DNR Area hydrologist that exceed the minimum standards of the DNR shoreland rules.
Document 60-75% forested shoreland; achieve 2 Star rating and include one or both of: (1) a menu of mitigation measures, one or more of which to be attached to shoreland variances; (2) provisions for restoration of shore impact area and vegetative buffer with permanent protection for all new shoreland development.
Action 4: Adopt a shoreland ordinance for all river and lake shoreland areas.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Efficient Water and Wastewater Systems
{ BP no. 20 }

Create a motor replacement plan for key motors, to at least maintain efficient operation and preferably improve it; utilize utility conservation improvement program for motors.
Upgrade SCADA systems to use existing flow and amperage or kilowatt measurements as a real-time efficiency measure for key equipment.
Review energy use for proposed plant upgrades at current volumes of water treated as well as at design capacity to verify the plant will run efficiently over the range of expected flow rates.
Action 2: Plan and budget for motor maintenance and upgrades so as to assure the most energy efficient, durable and appropriate equipment is available when upgrades or break downs occur.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Inform residents about the ecologic benefits to reducing water softener salt use; shift operation times of large pumps or activities so as to secure a cheaper electrical rate; purchase cheaper 'interruptable rate' electricity; install a peaking generator for load shaving/cost savings as well as backup power. Report ductile drinking water pipe under BP 15.8
Report savings from reduced fluoride levels; evaluate pump efficiency, repair or upgrade to efficient ones and report on anticipated cost savings.
Implement other/longer payback period drinking water facility upgrades such as measurable reduction in chemical use, use of backwash water; soften drinking water and work to eliminate home water softeners.
Action 4: Optimize energy and chemicals use at drinking water / wastewater facilities and decrease chloride in wastewater discharges.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Septic Systems
{ BP no. 21 }

Periodic or ongoing tracking, inspections, report review, and/or outreach to system owners.
Require inspections on a set timetable, at time of sale or when a building permit is pulled; require failing systems to be upgraded within 12 or fewer months.
Provide financial assistance for bringing systems into compliance; bring all remaining septic owners voluntarily into central sewer system.
Action 1: Report to landowners suspected noncompliant or failing septic systems as part of an educational, informational and financial assistance and outreach program designed to trigger voluntary landowner action to improve septic systems.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


County is the RME; city promotion of MPCA-licensed septic service providers.
Management through a subordinate service district sponsored by the city.
RME is the city, who monitors systems conditions, requires submittal of maintenance pumping records, does compliance inspections.
Action 3: Clarify/establish one or more responsible management entities for the proper design, siting, installation, operation, monitoring and maintenance of septic systems.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Sustainable Consumption and Waste
{ BP no. 22 }

Report implementation of at least 3 "good" ordinance & licensing BMPs (e.g., license haulers, designate a preferred waste processing facility) from https://www.pca.state.mn.us/sites/default/files/w-sw1-11.pdf Promote use of resource management contracts (RMC-covering recycling and trash) by businesses in your city; report city use of a RMC for government operations.
Report implementation of at least 3 "better" ordinance & licensing BMPs (e.g., develop administrative solid waste standards, cap # of residential trash hauler licenses, require haulers to offer bulky waste/yard waste services) from the web page above; report waste reduction (% or tons, per year) via a RMC with schools, libraries, parks, municipal health care facilities.
Report implementation of at least 3 "best" ordinance & licensing BMPs (e.g., min. market share to maintain hauler license, roll-off licensing, fees, ID, placement) from the web page above; report waste reduction (% or tons, per year) via a RMC with at least one larger venue, such as a manufacturer or a conference center. Document business energy/water efficiency under best practice action 2.4
Action 3: Improve profitability, legal compliance and conserve resources through adoption of ordinance language, licensing and resource management contracts.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Identify and provide city economic development support to relevant businesses; promote events such as fix-it clinics; encourage community members to shop at and donate to such businesses; post the CoolClimate household-level consumption-based GHG calculator on the city solid waste page.
Publicize and promote reuse/repair/rental businesses on your city website, in newsletter articles; facilitate neighbor-to-neighbor reuse of large items before annual 'curbside cleanups.'
Document increased use of these businesses; organize volunteers (or support others) to run at least one "fix-it" clinic for community members.
Action 4: Publicize, promote and use the varied businesses/services collecting and marketing used, repaired and rental consumer goods, especially electronics, in the city/county.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Local Air Quality
{ BP no. 23 }

Regulate outdoor wood burning using nuisance ordinance language, referencing the MN Fire Code. Note that burning household garbage, such as in a burn barrel, is generally against the law in MN.
Regulate outdoor wood boilers using the MPCA model zoning language.
Ban (on a permanent or interim basis) or enforce performance standards for specific types of burning.
Action 2: Regulate outdoor residential wood burning, using ordinance language, performance standards and bans as appropriate, for at least one of the following:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. Recreational burning.

b. Outdoor residential wood boilers.


Resilient Economic & Community Development   Resilient Economic & Community Development

Benchmarks and Community Engagement
{ BP no. 24 }

A staff green team, or small working group (e.g., city manager, council member, citizen commission chair) exists; city participation in a multi-city/regional green team; annual news article/media to community members referencing GreenStep (& other programs as relevant); city web has a link to city's GreenStep web page.
A citizens group, city task force/commission or committee of city staff/officials exists to lead and coordinate sustainability/GreenStep implementation; a report available online with details on city's sustainability accomplishments.
A committee of city staff/officials and community members (business, education, religious) exists; annual report includes some metrics, such as dollars spent/saved, energy saved, and any sustainability indicators measured, and energy/carbon inventory data or ecological footprint data if gathered; participation in a county/multi-city green team.
Action 1: Use a city commission, or committee to lead, coordinate, and report to and engage community members on implementation of sustainability best practices.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Report goals/outcomes annually from plans such as comprehensive, parks, library, housing, stormwater, drinking water, transportation, economic development, energy, sustainability. Issue a city Performance Management Report; use a simple form at http://tinyurl.com/24-2template
Achieve 1 Star rating AND identify specific steps from city departments on how to improve performance or meet goals that were not met in the previous year.
Integrate goals/outcomes reporting explicitly into the city capital improvement planning process, identifying how public dollars are targeted to meeting sustainability goals in the plans.
Action 2: Organize goals/outcome measures from all city plans and report to community members data that show progress toward meeting these goals.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


At least two informational/educational activities or creation of a group to work on such; promotion of/assistance with Friendly Front Yards, block clubs, neighborhood associations. Report under action 2.1 marketing & outreach programs that are limited to promoting/achieving residential energy use reduction and energy efficiency; report business outreach campaigns under BP 25; report youth/student engagement in city government under 24.6; report other targeted campaigns under topic-specific actions, e.g. 23.3
Sustained activities covering a range of topics (active living, food, water, energy, etc.) that have some challenge, assistance and/or measurement elements; documented accomplishments such as Green Ribbon School recognition, Friendly Fronts apartment building certification (coming in later 2017); city work that supports schools/youth to improve their schools (through an ecology club, school green team, IPL youth team).
Sustained activities and multiple reported outcomes such as increased multi-modal commuting, reduced water and energy use, increased local food production, increased business vitality, etc.
Action 4: Conduct or support a broad sustainability education and action campaign involving:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. The entire community.

b. Homeowners.

c. Front yards/sidewalks, block clubs, neighborhood associations.

d. Congregations.

e. Schools, colleges.


Green Business Development
{ BP no. 25 }

Report businesses that reuse, remanufacture, recycle and compost local material and arbitrage surplus capacity of existing service/product businesses. Report under action 22.4 efforts to publicize, promote and use reuse/repair/rental businesses, and report under action 12.6 bike/car sharing.
City BR&E (business retention and expansion) efforts explicitly assist value-added businesses.
Provide explicit incentives such as loans/grants to such businesses.
Action 4: Strengthen value-added businesses utilizing local "waste" products and renting products/services.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Recognize and promote (for example, on your city web site) businesses whose environmental actions are recognized by a local, regional or statewide program, such actions as recycling, reducing materials use, lowered toxicity in products, selling locally created compost, energy efficiency, EV charging station for employees/patrons, etc.
Recognize and promote businesses that are certified under a GreenStep-linked or national green business program.
Provide a city preference for support and use of certified green businesses.
Action 6: Promote green businesses that are recognized under a local, regional or national program.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Local Food
{ BP no. 27 }

Summarize what exists in the city: a farmer's market, urban ag businesses, etc.
Report on supportive actions taken by the city such as use of city land for a farmer's market, garden plots in city parks, hiring a garden/market coordinator, supporting season extension techniques such as hoop houses or greenhouses; donations from markets/gardens to food shelves.
Report on percent of housing units within a 1 mile of a healthy food source (farmer's market, community garden, CSA drop point, and stores with an NAICS code of 445110 or 445230); convert top level of a parking ramp for a local food growing business.
Action 3: Create, assist with and promote local food production/distribution within the city:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. A farmer's market or co-op buying club.

b. An urban agriculture business or a community-supported agriculture (CSA) arrangement between farmers and community members/employees.

c. A community or school garden, orchard or forest.