Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing Shortage Rooted in Downzoning of 1970s

Efforts are underway to preserve existing “naturally occurring affordable housing” (NOAH) in Minneapolis. A $25 million loan program created by the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund (GMHF) will provide non-profit housing organizations with low-interest loans in order to purchase and preserve existing NOAH properties. What is a NOAH property? The GMHF site puts it this way: […]

Downzoning Does a Disservice to Minneapolitans of All Ages

I’ve walked thousands and thousands of miles with Tank in the past eight years. Probably more than half of them have been in Lowry Hill East, where I lived for the first three of those years. It’s one of the most senior-friendly areas of Minneapolis, with its commercial corridors, transit, and density of people. As […]

Downzoning Can’t Save Us From the Future

I recently wrote about the rezoning that’s under consideration for Minneapolis’ Lowry Hill East neighborhood. After a few more weeks of thought, these are my big-picture concerns. Downzoning is Forever The city’s proposal has been described as interim protection that gets us through until the next update to the Minneapolis Comprehensive Plan (the process for which is currently […]

Time to Hold the Line on Downzoning

Forty-one years after a rezoning left most of Lowry Hill East zoned low-density, the city of Minneapolis has put neighborhood rezoning back on the table. The current plan is nearly all downzoning, meant to clean up the few high-density scraps left over from 1975. It’s hard not to take this issue personally, because I live in one of the […]

Minneapolis City Council “Outraged” Over DNR Downzoning to Benefit Elected Officials

Two members of the Minneapolis City Council have expressed serious concern over what they see as the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources pushing special land-use restrictions that would protect the proverbial backyards of certain unnamed elected officials. The comments were made during a June 9 Zoning and Planning Committee discussion about new rules for the Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area. The […]

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 […]