Archive | Land use

City Considers Consolidating Businesses into Distribution Districts

On April 1, the Saint Paul City Council will consider a proposal to divide the city into corporate distribution districts in order to reduce wear and tear on city streets.  The first phase of the program assigns food distributors to specific neighborhoods of Saint Paul. The resolution, if passed, would give exclusive access of a […]

Continue Reading

Growing Selby Avenue Between Lexington and Snelling

  Selby Avenue in Saint Paul is known for the Cathedral Hill neighborhood, with its restaurants and mix of businesses, flats, and houses centered around Western Ave. Down the street west of Lexington, Selby is quieter, but it’s the backbone of the Lexington-Hamline neighborhood. Back in the streetcar days, this was an ideal suburban neighborhood, […]

Continue Reading

Map Monday: Minneapolis Residential Zoning

Minneapolis has eight zones dedicated to residential uses, R1 through R6, plus R1A and R2B. A full half of those, R1, R1A, R2, and R2B, are dedicated to the preservation of the single family character of neighborhoods by allowing only single family homes or duplexes (1 & 2 Unit Residential). The other four, R3-R6, permit larger […]

Continue Reading

More Livable Streets at Snelling Midway

I want express my excitement surrounding the site plan for the Snelling-Midway Redevelopment. The density, return of the street grid, and mixed-use will be an asset to St. Paul for years to come. However, I need to express some concerns about the right-of-way widths at the proposed development. As shown above, the proposed rights-of-way for internal […]

Continue Reading

A History of Downzoning

The year is 1995. A landlord is renovating his triplex when a concerned neighbor appeals to the neighborhood association for help. The organization comes to the rescue, deciding¹ that “because the building has been vacant for over a year, the nonconforming use expires and the building should revert to a duplex.” The neighborhood was Lowry […]

Continue Reading

Counterpoint: Expanding the Existing Drive-Thru Ban Won’t Hurt Minneapolis

Minneapolis Council Members Lisa Bender and Lisa Goodman have introduced a change to city ordinances to broaden the coverage of Pedestrian Oriented Overlay districts. This includes a ban on drive-through fast food, banks, pharmacies, and other businesses. Eric Roper at the Star Tribune gave a pretty good run-down of the situation, followed by about 500 commenters raising the […]

Continue Reading

How to Really Fix Cedar/Franklin/Minnehaha

The exact intersection of the Phillips, Seward, and Cedar-Riverside neighborhoods is at the center of this photograph: We all know the story. These neighborhoods were sacrificed for the convenience of newly minted suburbanites. It’s weird how vigorously the government reshaped our patterns of living in the era of urban freeway building, and how timidly it now approaches […]

Continue Reading

Exclusionary Land Use Regulations and Income Segregation

Advocates for fair housing policies received a boost recently, thanks to a UCLA study which demonstrates a link between restrictive land use policies and income segregation within cities. Instead of focusing on the issue of “concentration of poverty,” the study identifies the primary problem as a geographic concentration of affluence brought about by overly restrictive, […]

Continue Reading