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Subdivision 1. General authority. A municipality may
The Township will identify and implement zoning, programs
and standards to enable businesses that enhance and
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN carry on comprehensive municipal planning activities
for guiding the future development and improvement
support local farming operations.
June 12, 2007 of the municipality and may prepare, adopt and • The Township will
amend a comprehensive municipal plan and work to develop a
Introduction and Purpose implement such plan by ordinance and other official
transfer of
actions in accordance with the provisions of sections
462.351 to 462.364. “Municipality” means any City . . . development
and any town. (M. S. 462.352, Subd. 2.) rights program
that supports the
ability to retain
Vision land for
agricultural or
• Bridgewater Township is a highly desirable rural natural/open
community in which to live and work. space purposes.

• Through compatible and sustainable agricultural, residential • To promote

and business development, we honor the Township’s heritage harmony between
and maintain its rural character and small community values agricultural and residential land uses, the Township will
while preserving and enhancing its natural beauty and develop a good-neighbor policy.
• We practice responsible stewardship so the Township
The purpose of this Comprehensive Plan for Bridgewater
continues to provide a superior quality of life for current and Objective: Manage the pace and quality of future residential
Township is to inform and provide guidance to the Township’s
future residents. development within the Township.
officials, residents and other stakeholders as to the long-range
objectives of the Township. The plan defines long-range
objectives related to protecting and enhancing the health, safety Governance • The majority of residential growth should be located in areas
and welfare of the Township’s residents. Over time, short-term adjacent to the cities of Dundas and Northfield, as provided
goals and action plans will also be defined and incorporated. Objective: Establish the necessary regulatory controls and for in orderly annexation agreements or within designated
standards to realize the vision and objectives. rural residential zones, or in clustered developments.
This Comprehensive Plan serves as a guiding framework for, and
is realized through conformance with, the Bridgewater Township • The Township will establish and maintain an open process to • Residential dwellings should be placed on the parcel in a
Planning and Zoning ordinance. That ordinance establishes validate and keep the comprehensive plan and zoning manner that respects the natural features of the property and
allowed and prohibited uses, as well as applicable standards, for ordinance current. allows for other potential uses of the parcel in the future. The
land use within the Township. Township has a keen interest in appropriate placement of
• The Township will balance the needs of the community with development on parcels and will establish and maintain
the interests of individual property owners. standards to guide such development.
It is important to recognize that the Township does not exist in
isolation from surrounding communities. As such the Township
is subject to, and must operate within parameters established by, Agriculture • Residential development should be located on land that is
least suitable for agricultural use and that minimizes depletion
applicable county, state and federal regulations.
Objective: Support viable and sustainable agriculture. of scenic, natural and open spaces. It should also be placed
in a fashion that is consistent with policies on public
Specifically, any Township Planning and Zoning Regulations must
be consistent with, or more restrictive than, the Rice County • The Township recognizes agriculture’s valuable role in the
Planning & Zoning ordinance. The Township cannot allow a land local economy and will work to assist in preserving existing,
• The Township will work with the neighboring cities and the
use that the county prohibits. and encouraging new forms of, agricultural operations.
County to restrict residential development in areas that may
be targeted for future nonresidential development.
• The Township recognizes the benefit to the Township of
developments/operations that provide a local market for
agricultural products.
• New development should not occur until and unless there is
Objective: Support businesses that are consistent with the sufficient road capacity and other utilities that are planned or
in place to provide safe and efficient systems that are closely
rural character of the township.
coordinated with the Township land use plan and the plans of
surrounding areas.
• Job growth in small, privately owned businesses is
encouraged. Township job growth will be focused on farm
operations, businesses that support local farm • Rural non-residential development should be located where
operations, and on activities supporting generation of there is suitable road access and other supportive utilities.
renewable energy. Additionally, craftsman and artisan
businesses will be encouraged. • The Township will encourage modes of transportation, site
design and other actions that conserve energy and promote
energy generation at appropriate scales.
• The economic costs and benefits to the county, school
district, township and adjacent municipalities should be
considered in any new development proposal. • The Township will work to develop regulations that require
developments bringing heavy traffic (in volume, congestion,
• Commercial development is provided for per annexation and/or weight) to be located along ten-ton road corridors and
agreements with municipalities that have established other primary corridors, such as State Highways #3, #246,
• Interconnected bicycle/pedestrian trails with opportunities #19 and planned CSAH 1.
commercial zones and urban infrastructure. for camping would support area tourism. Efforts to
improve recreation and scenic areas, such as prairie and • The Township will incorporate the Township Road policy as
Natural Resources and Open Space woodland restoration and areas of safety improvements, the guiding document for transportation improvements in the
should be identified. Township. To assure consistency and coordination with
Objective: Preserve and protect natural resources and open others, the Township will review the goals of the plan with
space. Infrastructure neighboring cities and governmental agencies.

• Preservation of open space should be encouraged in all new Objective: Provide criteria and guidance for future infrastructure • The Township will establish setback standards to allow future
development, with a special emphasis on creating a network development. road corridor upgrades.
of interconnected greenways and/or natural features that
support positive ecosystem functions. Community Engagement
• Permanent preservation of environmentally-significant areas
should be encouraged or required where possible. Objective: Develop and maintain productive alliances for
Bridgewater Township.
• The Township will encourage a variety of natural recreational
areas and facilities that are well-distributed throughout the
Township. • The Township will continue to stress coordination,
communications and close cooperation with neighboring
communities and with County and State agencies.
• The Township strongly supports preservation and restoration
of creeks, streams, soils, aquifers and air quality and will • The Township will honor and work within the existing
develop standards that better protect these resources from annexation agreements with Northfield and Dundas and
contamination, run-off and erosion. will consider improvements to the agreements as needed.

• The Township will encourage opportunities to plant • The Township will actively engage and inform
woodlands, wetlands, restore prairies, or improve other Bridgewater Township residents about on-going planning
natural habitat and will seek grant funding, when available, to and zoning activities.
implement such projects.
• The Township will reach out to local agriculturally-related
• The Township will develop standards that promote • Development projects should fund necessary expansions or organizations and associations to help recognize and
reclamation of existing gravel mine sites and that govern upgrades to all health, safety and welfare related support the rural and farming backbone of the Township.
development and reclamation of any new sites. infrastructures (i.e. transportation, energy, sanitation, fire and
ambulance, etc). The Comprehensive Plan Land Use Map is the same as that shown on
the 2002 Rice County Comprehensive Plan Land Use Map.