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Baxter City Council: Landscape ordinance revised

BAXTER — After making time to reconsider changes to the city’s landscaping ordinance, Baxter City Council members approved revisions Tuesday.

Revisions include more options for commercial property to use native grasses, which the earlier ordinance revisions didn’t allow.

Council member Todd Holman said native species consume a significantly smaller amount of water resources to thrive, which is more sustainable.

“I’ve been a big advocate of trying to get it in there,” Holman said after the meeting.

It’s a cultural change, he said, from Kentucky bluegrass to big stem grasses. Native seeding may be approved by the zoning administrator with a site plan and planting schedule. Depending on the size, location and visibility of the native area next to adjacent properties and the right-of-way, the administrator may refer the item to the city council for consideration. The city ordinance states all native areas shall be established to 90 percent coverage and maintained to that level.

The landscaping ordinance notes top priority will be given to establishing landscaping in front areas between buildings and streets with a secondary priority for the perimeter.

A minimum of one deciduous tree is required in the front yard but the city removed a requirement of at least 1.5 inch diameter trunk.

Transplanting of existing trees is encouraged. Credit is given for existing trees.

RENEE RICHARDSON may be reached at 855-5852 or Follow on Twitter at

Renee Richardson
Richardson is a Pacelli High School graduate from Austin, Minn., who earned an applied science degree from the University of Minnesota, Waseca, with an emphasis in horse management. She worked extensively in the resort industry. She received an associate’s degree from Central Lakes College, where she was editor of the Westbank Journal student newspaper, as well as a summer intern at the Dispatch. She graduated from St. Cloud State University summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and interned at the St. Cloud Times covering business while attending SCSU. She's been with the Brainerd Dispatch since 1996.
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