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    City of Bloomington  


Background Information

County:   Hennepin
Population:   83,000
GreenStep City category:   A

Full-time equivalent city staff (approx.):   500

Participating township, county, school:


GreenStep City resolution:   Click here to view the file.
GreenStep City status and date:   STEP 1 (08/07/2017)

GreenStep Coordinator

Mary Hurliman
City staff
mhurliman@BloomingtonMN.gov
952-563-8730

City web page relating to sustainability/GreenStep activities:
https://www.bloomingtonmn.gov/pw/sustainability-commission

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
2018 - click to view assessment

 


Best Practice Actions Underway and Completed

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







Buildings and Lighting   Buildings and Lighting

Efficient Existing Public Buildings
{ BP no. 1 }

pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city 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 ]  


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city 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 ]  


Efficient Existing Private Buildings
{ BP no. 2 }

pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city 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 ]  


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city 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 ]  


Efficient Outdoor Lighting and Signals
{ BP no. 4 }

pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city 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 ]  


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 5: Use LED/solar-powered lighting for a flashing sign or in a street, parking lot or park project.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 6: Relamp/improve exterior building lighting for city-owned buildings/facilities with energy efficient, Dark-Sky compliant lighting.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 7: Replace city-owned parking lot/ramp lighting with Dark-Sky compliant, energy efficient, automatic dimming lighting technologies.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Land Use   Land Use

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

pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city 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 ]  


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city 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 ]  


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 4: Include ecologic provisions in the comprehensive plan that explicitly aim to minimize open space fragmentation and/or establish a growth area with expansion criteria.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 5: Adopt climate mitigation and/or energy independence goals and objectives in the comprehensive plan or in a separate policy document, and include direct implementation recommendations such as becoming an EV-ready city.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Resilient City Growth
{ BP no. 7 }

pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city 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.


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city 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 or co-housing or tiny houses / apartments by right in selected zoning districts.


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 3: Achieve higher intensity commercial 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.


Design for Natural Resource Conservation
{ BP no. 10 }

pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 1: Conduct a Natural Resource Inventory or Assessment (NRI or NRA); incorporate protection of priority natural systems or resources such as groundwater through the subdivision or development process.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 6: Conserve natural resources by adopting or amending city codes and ordinances to support sustainable sites, including roadsides, and environmentally protective land use development.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Transportation   Transportation

Living Streets
{ BP no. 11 }

pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 1: Adopt a complete streets policy that also addresses street trees 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; 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; 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.


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 2: Launch an Active Living campaign such as a Safe Routes to School program.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 5: Launch telework/flexwork efforts in city government, businesses or at a local health care provider.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Environmental Management   Environmental Management

Sustainable Purchasing
{ BP no. 15 }

pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city 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 & Soils
{ BP no. 16 }

pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 1: Certify as a Tree City USA.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city 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.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 3: Budget for and achieve resilient urban canopy/tree planting goals.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 4: Maximize tree planting along your main downtown street or throughout the city.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 5: Adopt a tree preservation or native landscaping ordinance.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 6: Build community capacity to protect existing trees by one or more of:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. Having trained tree specialists.

c. Adopting an EAB/forest management plan or climate adaptation plan for the urban forest.

b. Supporting volunteer forestry efforts.


Stormwater Management
{ BP no. 17 }

pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 3: Adopt by ordinance one or more of the following stormwater infiltration/management strategies:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. A narrower streets provision that permits construction of 22-foot roads for public, residential access and subcollector streets (with fewer than 400 average daily trips).

b. For sites less than one acre, retain the water quality volume of 1.1 inches of runoff from all impervious surfaces for new and fully-redeveloped construction sites.

c. For non-MS4 permittees, adopt an illicit discharge prohibition rule or ordinance and an erosion and sediment control ordinance.


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 4: Create a stormwater utility that uses variable fees to incentivize enhanced stormwater management, minimize the volume of and pollutants in runoff, and educate property owners.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Install, require and/or provide guidelines for rain gardens, rain barrels, parking lots (salt use reduction/alternatives, French drains, etc.) or pervious pavement; report that all city staff are developing guidelines that use the updated precipitation data in Atlas 14; 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.


Parks and Trails
{ BP no. 18 }

pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 1: Make improvements within your city's system of parks, offroad trails and open spaces.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city 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 ]  


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city 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 ]  


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 5: Create park/city land management standards/practices that maximize at least one of the following:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. Low maintenance turf management; native landscaping; organic or integrated pest management; pollinator/monarch-safe policies.

b. Recycling/compostables collection; use of compost as a soil amendment.

c. Sources of nonpotable water, or surface/rain water, for irrigation.


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 6: Certify at least one golf course in the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 7: Document that the operation and maintenance, or construction / remodeling, of at least one park building used an asset management tool, the SB 2030 energy standard, or a green building framework.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city 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 }

A high-level elected city official or city staff person participates in at least 1 community event that includes a variety of stakeholders (farmers, other business people, environmentalists, recreation users, and other government staff, one of whom has scientific expertise). The conversation should be outside the TMDL process and include more than just impaired waters. Report an adopted wellhead protection plan under action 6.3
The city cosponsors at least 4 water quality conversations that explicitly focus on significant water quality improvement.
The conversations are intentionally facilitated/mediated to influence changes in public/private actions that are likely to improve local water quality, quantity and surface-groundwater interactions.
Action 2: Conduct or support multi-party community conversations around improving local water quality and quantity.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


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 ]  


Achieve 1-star and report progress toward meeting goals for restoration of a specific percentage of shoreland.
Enact a point-of-sale regulation that ensures shoreland revegetation as property is sold.
Collaborate with DNR and others and support/initiate an effort to measure shoreland status and set goals for needed restoration work and to locally promote DNR revegetation incentives and technical assistance.
Action 5: Adopt goals to revegetate shoreland and create a local program or outreach effort to help property owners with revegetation.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 6: Implement an existing TMDL implementation plan.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Efficient Water and Wastewater Systems
{ BP no. 20 }

pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city 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 ]  


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 3: Establish an on-going budget and program for decreasing inflow and infiltration into sewer lines and losses in drinking water systems.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city 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 ]  


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 6: Implement a wastewater plant efficiency project (co-generation, water reuse) or a program for local private business operations (water conservation, water reuse, business co-location).     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 7: Create a demand-side pricing program to reduce demands on water and wastewater systems.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Septic Systems
{ BP no. 21 }

pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city 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 ]  


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 2: Use a community process to address failing septic systems.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city 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 ]  


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 4: Adopt a subsurface sewage treatment system ordinance based on the Association of Minnesota Counties' model ordinance.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 6: Work with homeowners and businesses in environmentally sensitive areas and areas where standard septic systems are not the least-cost option to promote innovative waste water systems, including central sewer extensions.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Solid Waste Prevention and Reduction
{ BP no. 22 }

pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 2: Address concerns over consumer products and packaging through encouragement/implementation of one or more of:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. Education on waste prevention and alternatives, including product stewardship / producer responsibility.

b. Reuse options.

c. Recycling / composting options.

d. Credits, fees.

e. Mandates, bans.


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 6: Improve recycling services and expand to multi-unit housing and commercial businesses.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 7: Improve/organize residential trash, recycling and organics collection by private and/or public operations and offer significant volume-based pricing on residential garbage and/or incentives for recycling.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Resilient Economic & Community Development   Resilient Economic & Community Development

Benchmarks and Community Engagement
{ BP no. 24 }

pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 1: Use a committee to lead, coordinate, and report to and engage community members on implementation of sustainability best practices.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city 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 ]  


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 3: Measure and report progress on sustainability indicators.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Renewable Energy
{ BP no. 26 }

pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 1: Adopt solar energy standards or a wind energy ordinance that allows or encourages appropriate renewable energy installations.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Local Food
{ BP no. 27 }

pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 2: Facilitate creation of home/community gardens, chicken & bee keeping, and incorporation of food growing areas/access in multifamily residential developments.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city 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.


Climate Adaptation and Community Resilience
{ BP no. 29 }

Conduct a high-level assessment of strategic climate vulnerabilities and vulnerable populations. Identify important assets and key adaptation/resilience opportunities. (Report more detailed assessments under Actions 5 and 7.)
Incorporate climate adaptation and resilience goals and strategies into the city’s comprehensive plan (or long-term vision or adaptation plan for Category B & C cities and tribes) using public engagement processes which must involve proactive outreach, stakeholder involvement, and meaningful engagement of vulnerable and underrepresented populations.
Based on the direction provided by an assessment of vulnerabilities and/or a comprehensive planning process, integrate identified climate adaptation/resilience strategies directly into city ordinances, operating procedures, and Capital Improvement Plans (such as strong land use and/or stormwater regulations to protect or create resilient assets).
Action 2: Integrate climate resilience into city or tribal planning, policy, operations, and budgeting processes.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]