As Dayton grows, we will lose much of the farm fields that we currently have.  How long will that take?  To get rid of ALL of our rural character, at the current rate, would take over 40 years.  But by smart policies we can stretch that out longer, WITHOUT risking our financial future.

Also, by planning for (and having developers fund) trails and parks, we can ADD to the public open space we currently have actually very little of.  By setting high standards for screening, and plantings, we can create oasis of nature even in our highly populated areas.  In the next comp plan, I want to add a resolution that reads as follows;
WHEREAS – We recognized that the Met Council controls our average density, and we have no legal recourse to stop the requirement that we eventually develop at three units per acre…..and…..
WHEREAS – We recognize that over time this means Dayton WILL house between 40,000 and 55,000 people (depending on how much wetlands we find)……and…..
WHEREAS – We recognize that anyone in Dayton has the legal right to develop their land, within the framework set up by the Met Council, and codified in Dayton ordinances……
Will use what tools we have (namely the Staging Areas) to designate how many acres will be developed each decade, and to limit the amount of development by using the Staging Areas to created orderly and predictable development at the pace required by the Met Council.
Will create financial plans that are “pay as you go” so that we cannot be “forced” into accepting development solely because we need development fees to make bond payments.
Will maximize the number of acres of park, and trail miles, to ensure the maximum amount of usable outdoor space for our residents and visitors.
Will work to provide access to both rivers, all lakes, and Elm Creek Park for our residents and visitors.
Will seek to encourage large lot owners to utilize their property in such a way as to encourage large lot owners not to subdivide or sell to developers….within the limits of what is legal and fair.
Will encourage developers to build no more than 3 units per acre unless significant benefit is included in a development (more open space in particular). Use tools such as lot size averaging and cluster development to encourage larger lots and more open space.
Will preserve as much as we can when development comes – asking to preserve trees, barns (moving them if necessary), and other features of our historic pioneer era.
We will encourage “rural activities” (such as horse ownership, urban farming, and snowmobiling) through our policies as long as they are practical.
We will create ordinances to protect the elements of Rural Character in the following ways…
  • Low Lights – Through strict ordinances about street, home, and business signage and lights. Maintaining a “dark sky” feel as long as possible.
  • Signage – Making all signage, of any kind, minimally impactful.
  • Screening – As we develop, requiring new developments to put up berms and/or trees and shrubs to block line of sight to new developments….even retail developments.
  • Vegetation – becoming a pollinator friendly city by allowing development to use only local vegetation in developments which will attract bees, butterflies and birds. Using local vegetation and rain gardens in public spaces.
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