Public Values Incentive Program
Scott County has promoted an innovative development approach over the past decade where the County and township takes a more flexible approach to the land development process. The 2030 Comprehensive Plan first established this voluntary development option that puts the focus on creating quality residential neighborhoods, rather than meeting basic subdivision and zoning codes. The 2040 Comprehensive Plan continues to promote this program.
This innovative option, known as the Public Values Incentive Program, encourages the private sector into a collaborative development track that could include density bonuses in exchange for public values that promote varied housing options, improve public infrastructure systems, and encourage natural resource protection.
Discussions with staff, the township, and the Planning Commission begin at the conceptual development phase, working with prospective developers or landowners up front at pre-application meetings to identify public values inherent of the property before any money is invested in site design or engineering. This results in a smooth development process that ensures integration of community goals and a more defined set of expectations for developers, which may lead to fewer time delays, cost savings and better subdivision designs.
Too often, traditional zoning rules that mandate minimum lot sizes, setbacks, etc. make it difficult to provide subdivision designs that preserve or enhance the natural features which make the land unique. The end result is a subdivision that may not fit with the character of the neighborhood and does not meet the overall goals of the community.
As an approach to remedy this solution, the voluntary Public Values Incentive Program, in conjunction a new PUD ordinance, encourages flexibility in lot standards and supports density bonuses for subdivisions that achieve one or more county-defined Public Values.
Below is a brief description of each the identified Public Values, as defined in the 2040 Comprehensive Plan:
- Publicly Managed Utilities - providing a subordinate sewer service district to manage community sewage treatment systems
- Public Roadways - providing additional new right-of-way (ROW) above and beyond standard dedication requirements for collector or arterial roadways; or providing ROW for supportive local roads along major arterials; or providing turn- and by-pass lanes at the public road intersection of a state or county highway
- Public Parks and Trails - providing additional dedicated land for parks or trails above and beyond standard dedication requirements for a regional, county or town facility
- Regional Stormwater Basins - providing additional land above and beyond standard dedication requirements for regional stormwater management facilities
- Natural Area Corridors - permanently conserving critical natural areas as identified and mapped in County plans. View a map of NACs (PDF)
- Wetland Restoration - restoring the hydrology and native plant communities for larger impaired wetlands
- Livable and Sustainable Neighborhoods - providing a variety of housing types, utilizing alternative energy sources or conservation practices, and/or implementing other sustainable development practices
To assist landowners and developers in evaluating potential public values on a specific property, Scott County Planning and GIS departments have incorporated mapped public values layers within the Scott County GIS mapping application: ScottGIS3.0. Search by address or parcel number or zoom into to a certain area.
Please contact the Scott County Planning Department at 952-496-8475 with any questions on the use of this mapping application or to evaluate development opportunities.
The information provided does not guarantee a density bonus will be granted. The data is approximate, actual boundaries will need to be field verified and not all mapped features will be considered a public value. Density bonuses will be determined through a formal review process with County staff.
Contact Our Offices
If you are considering any development opportunities in rural Scott County, we encourage you to explore the Public Values Incentive Program to maximize the natural value of the land, its development potential, and your return on investment. It is our goal to help streamline and expedite the development process as much as possible for all Public Value subdivisions. Please contact the Planning and Zoning staff with any questions or inquiries:
Scott County Planning Department
Scott County Government Center
200 4th Avenue W
Shakopee, MN 55379-1220
Please note that in-person visits are available by appointments only. Please call to make an appointment.