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    City of Golden Valley  


Background Information

County:   Hennepin
Population:   20,866
GreenStep City category:   A

Full-time equivalent city staff (approx.):   100

Participating township, county, school:


GreenStep City resolution:   Click here to view the file.
GreenStep City status and date:   STEP 2 (06/15/2017)

GreenStep Coordinator

Eric Eckman
City staff
eeckman@goldenvalleymn.gov
763-593-8084

City web page relating to sustainability/GreenStep activities:
http://www.goldenvalleymn.gov/about/sustainabilityandresilience/greenstep-city.php

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
2017 - 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: 42     1-star actions: 4     2-star actions: 18     3-star actions: 20    







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 ]  


Report one city building or school, or county/other government building, and which framework was used. Report park buildings under best practice action 18.7; report policies that require green building certification under action 3.1
Complete 1 Star criteria for two buildings, and list at what level the buildings are certified. Report energy use reduction in remodels.
Show that a new or remodeled building has met or 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 ]  


Action 6: Improve the operations & maintenance of city-owned/school buildings by using a customized online energy efficiency tool, asset management tool, or a green building framework.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Efficient Existing Private Buildings
{ BP no. 2 }

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 ]  


New Green Buildings
{ BP no. 3 }

Action 3: Customize a model sustainable building policy that includes the SB 2030 energy standard and adopt language governing new private development projects that:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. Receive city financial support, and/or

b. Require city regulatory approval (conditional use permit, rezoning, variance, PUD).


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.
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 ]  


Install at least one LED/solar-powered flashing sign, for example, warning flashers and wayfinding/signage lighting.
Install PV-powered or LED lighting as a pilot in a street, parking lot or park project. Examples include seasonally used park lighting (ice rinks, lighting in flood-prone areas, etc.).
Install routinely, as matter of policy, LED or solar powered lighting in street, parking lot or park projects.
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 ]  


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 Plans
{ BP no. 6 }

Adopt a 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.
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 ]  


For cities adjacent to undeveloped land, establish a growth area with staging criteria that reflects projected population growth (projected no more than ten years in the future) and, if applicable, is subject to an orderly annexation agreement and planned extension of municipal services. OR, conduct a natural resource inventory (NRI) and incorporate the results into your comprehensive plan or long-term city vision. Report adoption of an urban growth boundary under action 10.2
Prioritize the NRI results through a natural resource assessment (NRA) involving the public so as to minimize the fragmentation and development of agricultural, forest, wildlife, pollinator habitat, and high quality open space lands in and around the city.
Identify priority natural resource protection areas in the comp plan and recommend strategies for integrating protection into the development process.
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 ]  


Resilient City Growth
{ BP no. 7 }

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.


Action 2: Encourage 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. 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.


Mixed Uses
{ BP no. 8 }

Conduct a process that involves community members / stakeholder input. Report main street revitalization and preservation actions under best practice 5.2; report comp plan civic engagement under 6.1
Bring in a facilitator to work with the city, community members and other stakeholders; use the Equitable Development Scorecard as an evaluation tool.
Participate in a Minnesota Design Team charrette; plan to increase the percent of residents who work within 10 miles of their homes.
Action 1: Organize or participate in a community planning/design process for the city/a mixed use district.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


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.


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 ]  


Natural Resource Conservation Design
{ BP no. 10 }

Complete an NRI or NRA and use findings in the decision-making process when evaluating land use options. Report individual tree replacement ordinances in best practice action 16.5
Adopt ordinance language that utilizes findings in the inventory/assessment; adopt an incentive for conservation design in your zoning or subdivision ordinance, in which at least 50% of developable land is permanently protected, or create a conservation design district that requires the use of conservation design practices such as permanent protection of high quality habitat/open space, explicit wildlife corridors.
Create city-wide protections for natural systems/resources (e.g., groundwater, uplands, forest bats), such as mandatory natural resource design standards for priority natural resource and open space areas, or for rezonings of agricultural or other undeveloped land, require a finding of fact that undeveloped residential land in the city is insufficient to meet market demand.
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 ]  


Have placed at least one conservation easement on a parcel.
Develop or participate with others in a conservation easement program.
Adopt or participate in a purchase of development rights or transfer of development rights program.
Action 5: Develop/fund a conservation easement program, such as a purchase of development rights program, in collaboration with a land trust.     [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; 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 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 ]  


Remedy at least one complete street gap, including using alleys. Report green alley interventions under action 17.5
Inspect, evaluate, inventory and map your roadway network for complete streets insufficiencies and develop a prioritized transition plan and timeline for remedying the insufficiencies and gaps. Pay particular attention to multimodal conflict areas and transit connections to serve users and destinations.
Routinely budget complete streets improvements through roadway & bridge capital improvement & maintenance projects; show project cost-savings through innovative/collaborative efforts with other jurisdictions/stakeholders; address street corridor issues by infill, adding bridge liner (retail on a bridge to be rebuilt in a walkable corridor), etc.
Action 4: Identify, prioritize and remedy complete streets gaps and lack of connectivity within your road network by, for example, adding a bike route/lane, truck route, sidewalk or mid-block alley.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Make functional/recreational walking/biking possible between at least one park/open area and city streets. Report remedies for gaps entirely within your city's system of parks, off-road trails and open spaces under best practice action 18.1
Add a walking/bike trail that significantly improves access between two areas without a full network of streets, e.g., connecting cul-de-sacs within a housing development that has very long blocks.
Fully integrate your street and off-road trail network to facilitate bike/ped commuting; report under action 18.1 a walking/biking trail that connects your city to a key destination/area/trail outside the city.
Action 5: Identify and remedy street-trail gaps between city streets and off-road trails/bike trails to better facilitate walking and biking.     [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.
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 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: Promote 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.


Develop and/or distribute education materials.
Develop a rideboard or partner with a ridesharing online service to create a rideboard/carpool matching service.
Facilitate carpooling/ridesharing by creating a park and ride lot.
Action 4: Promote carpooling or ridesharing among community members, city employees, businesses, high schools and institutions of higher education.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Efficient City Fleets
{ BP no. 13 }

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 ]  


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 ]  


Action 4: Phase in bike, foot or horseback modes for police, inspectors and other city staff.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Demand-Side Travel Planning
{ BP no. 14 }

Action 4: Adopt a travel demand management plan for city employees or incorporate into development regulations TDM or transit-oriented development standards.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Environmental Management   Environmental Management

Sustainable Purchasing
{ BP no. 15 }

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.


Action 4: Require purchase of U.S. EPA WaterSense-certified products.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Urban Forests & 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 ]  


Adopt MN Tree Trust Best Practices, MN Stormwater Manual tree design guidelines or the like for city projects; report use of compost as a soil amendment.
Use guidelines in at least one city development project; document that the development achieves an excellent or better Tree Trust rating, or assess the performance of tree trenches and tree boxes.
Incorporate adopted tree planting best practices in development ordinances; show with data that 'plant once' practices are decreasing the number of dying boulevard trees that must be replanted.
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 ]  


A minimum number of trees planted by the city each year, OR at least 2-3 trees planted for each city tree lost.
An overall city tree canopy of at least 30% and/or a canopy above 60% for residential areas; use I-Tree for tree inventory of trees on City property; include tree replacement money in Pavement Management Program budget.
An overall city tree canopy of at least 40%, with goals for canopy over parking lots (such as 50%), canopy over residential (60% - 75%), canopy over commercial/industrial; OR, use iTree to quantify benefits of your urban canopy
Action 3: Budget for and achieve urban canopy/tree planting goals.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


For smaller cities: at least one volunteer is a Minnesota Certified Tree Inspector or a Minnesota Forest Pest First Detector.
City has written and begun implementing a community emerald ash borer preparedness plan/climate change adaptation plan for urban forests; city tree canopy follows "5-10-15" rule-of-thumb.
At least one city staff member is a Certified Forester, a landscape horticulture professional, or holds Tree Inspector and First Detector certification; city staff provide free assistance to residents/businesses.
Action 6: Build community capacity to protect existing trees and plant resilient species.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Stormwater Management
{ BP no. 17 }

Action 1: Adopt and use Minnesota's Minimal Impact Design Standards (MIDS).     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


At least one ordinance in place (MS4s must achieve a 2- or 3-star rating).
Two ordinances in place.
Three or more ordinances in place.
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.


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.


Parks and Trails
{ BP no. 18 }

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 ]  


Introduce low/no mow areas into parkland; collect recyclables; use compost as a soil amendment. List garden plots in city parks under BP 27.3; report electric utility vehicles under 13.2
Introduce low/no mow areas into parkland AND utilize organic or integrated pest management; certify through the MPCA at least one city staff person at Level 1 in turf grass BMPs; collect compostables; adopt a pollinator habitat policy.
Provide sources of non-potable water, or surface/rain water, for parkland irrigation; require all city-licensed turf grass services to have staff certified at Level 1 in MPCA turf grass BMPs; introduce sheep/goats to keep grass mowed/invasives at bay; raise honey on city land/buildings; other innovative methods.
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.


Create an annual event or ongoing 'adopt a park' effort for volunteer trash cleanup of open space, buckthorn removal, etc. for parks or selected public open space areas. Event can be in cooperation with other organizations. 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 }

Action 4: Adopt a shoreland ordinance for all river and lake shoreland areas.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Action 6: Implement an existing TMDL implementation plan.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Solid Waste Prevention and Reduction
{ BP no. 22 }

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.


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.
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 in the city/county.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Require by license (and ideally also ordinance) the provision of recycling services in multi-unit residential buildings; report implementation of at least 3 "good" recycling BMPs (e.g., mandatory separation of residential recyclables, email/text recycling reminders) from https://www.pca.state.mn.us/sites/default/files/w-sw1-11.pdf Note, under action 22.7 "Who's doing it" tab, pre-2018 entries of cities organizing their solid waste collection service.
Report the city recycling rate prominently on the city's web site (by only licensing haulers that report their data); provide as requested larger carts/2nd recycling container at no added cost to resident; collect co-mingled fiber/containers; report implementation of 3 “better” recycling BMPs from the webpage above; in greater MN, require collection of recyclables from commercial entities.
Require that each tenant in multi-unit housing has a recycling container; assure multi-unit recycling during routine city building inspections; report implementation of 3 “best” recycling BMPs from the webpage above.
Action 6: Improve recycling services and expand to multi-unit housing and commercial businesses.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Local Air Quality
{ BP no. 23 }

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.


Economic and Community Development   Economic and 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; 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, or a citizens commission or committee of city staff/officials exists to lead and coordinate GreenStep implementation; a report available online with details on city's GreenStep 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.
Action 1: Use a committee to lead, coordinate, and report to and engage community members on implementation of GreenStep 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 ]  


Produce a city environmental / sustainability report/summary; involve an existing city council committee or community task force.
Adopt (ideally after a public process and city council review) and commit to measure and annually report on sustainability indicators, generally related to or directly tied city's work on GreenStep best practices; may include community-wide energy and water use, vehicle miles traveled, and waste generated (Regional Indicators Initiative).
Adopt and commit to measure and annually report on broad sustainability indicators such as covered by GreenStep Step 4/5 metrics, the STAR Community Rating System, LEED for Cities.
Action 3: Measure and report progress on sustainability indicators.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


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 ]  


Renewable Energy
{ BP no. 26 }

Ensure that solar and wind energy installations are allowed land uses for appropriate zoning districts within the zoning code. Report any resulting installed capacity in kW.
Adopt the Minnesota Solar Challenge land use best practices or a wind ordinance with provisions that promote rather than restrict renewable energy installations. Include incentive provisions such as fee guidelines, fast-tracking permits (as noted in action 26.7). Note land use or street standards that maximize solar orientation of buildings. Report any resulting installed capacity in kW.
Adopt solar energy standards and a wind energy ordinance AND require renewable energy installations or RE-ready buildings when the city is a financial participant in a project. Report any resulting installed capacity in kW.
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 ]  


Action 2: Consistently promote at least one of the following means of increasing renewable generation:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. A local utility's green power purchasing program that allows residents/businesses to order/buy new renewable energy.

b. Local, state and federal financial incentives for property owners to install renewable energy systems.


Describe any public sector project and report installed capacity in kW. Report wastewater biogas projects under action 20.6, solid waste anaerobic digestion under action 22.5, and geothermal under action 1.7
Install at least two different RE technologies and report installed capacity in kW; show that a RE installation has shaved off peak energy demand and allowed the monthly utility demand charge to be decreased.
Install RE capacity in excess of 100 kW; report combined heat and power generation, parking lot PV canopies.
Action 5: Install a public sector/municipally owned renewable energy technology, such as solar electric (PV), biomass, solar hot water/air, micro-hydro or wind.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Climate Adaptation and Community Resilience
{ BP no. 29 }

Develop targeted emergency communications in appropriate languages (or get access to existing versions) to address the specific vulnerabilities of each population group in your community to each type of event.
In consultation with the county, every two years review the county (or city if there is one) Hazard Mitigation Plan and identify who is responsible for city preparedness, emergency response, and recovery efforts for each type of event. Routinely participate in updating the Plan. (Category A & B cities must achieve a 1-star rating plus either a 2- or 3- star rating for Step 3 recognition).
In consultation with the county, designate appropriate facilities available to the public as community safe shelter for each type of event as applicable. Arrange for adequate provisions (including potable water) and backup power for 5-7 days. Develop coordinated strategies with private sector critical facilities and document agreed upon procedures.
Action 1: Prepare to maintain public health and safety during extreme weather and climate-change-related events, while also taking a preventive approach to reduce risk for community members.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Conduct a high-level assessment of strategic climate vulnerabilities. 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 ]  


Inventory and/or map your sanitary sewer system, gray and green stormwater infrastructure, city roads and bridges, and municipal power lines. For MS4 cities, use an asset management system to monitor and maintain this infrastructure. (Report tree inventories under best practice 16.)
Make investments in green and gray infrastructure that are strategically designed to fix specific intersections, underpasses, culverts or other areas prone to flash flooding, to resolve recent occurrences of combined sewer overflow, and/or to add meaningful system capacity for extreme rainfall events.
Assess city-owned buildings and sites for vulnerabilities to extreme weather, and make investments to reduce or prevent damage and sustain function. (Report water and wastewater facilities under Action 7.)
Action 5: Protect public buildings and natural/constructed infrastructure to reduce physical damage and sustain their function during extreme weather events.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]