Author Archive | John Edwards

A “Pro-Family” Comprehensive Plan

One of the common criticisms you hear about the Minneapolis 2040 draft comprehensive plan, if you go to enough public meetings, is that it’s anti-family. People say if you want to support families, you’ve got to restrict the vast majority of city land for single-family homes. This criticism doesn’t hold water unless the only kind […]

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Minneapolis 2040: Tree Edition

Minneapolis residents may be wondering who is digging holes in their neighborhoods and dropping little trees in them. It’s the Forestry Division of the Minneapolis Park Board. Trees are great for the environment. They’re good for public health. They can calm car traffic. Maybe they reduce crime? They definitely make streets vastly more pleasant places […]

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Chart of the Day: Loss of Duplex/Triplex/Fourplex Homes in Minneapolis

Like a lot of other places, Minneapolis has a zoning code that promotes areas of low-density or high-density with little in between. That rapidly shrinking segment of homes in between is often referred to as the Missing Middle. One advantage (among others) of small apartment houses is that they’re less expensive to build per unit […]

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The Future: Minneapolis 2040

At a community meeting for a street reconstruction last year, a young mom made a passionate argument: it would be a generation, she said, before the street was reconstructed again. This was our only chance to create a neighborhood street where she could safely push a stroller, or walk and bike with her kids. It […]

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Zoning Reform and the Pace of Neighborhood Change

A few days ago, Adam Miller had a post here on streets.mn debunking the idea that fourplexes mean four stories. The truth is that Minneapolis’ new draft comprehensive plan that proposes allowing up to four-family homes in currently single-family neighborhoods, would limit those homes to 2.5 stories (the “Interior 1” designation). Honestly, I am someone […]

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Fourplexes Everywhere? Bold Reform Proposed in Minneapolis

Word has leaked of a very preliminary plan to legalize fourplexes in virtually every neighborhood in Minneapolis. It’s one part of a larger draft comprehensive plan that hasn’t yet been made public. If implemented, it would be the boldest land-use reform in the country, reversing a decades-long trend of restrictions that have contributed to higher […]

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Billboard Proposal is “Rash That Won’t Go Away”

The mysteriously persistent proposal to allow more billboards in downtown Minneapolis has Planning Commissioner John Slack feeling as if he’d like to pour a bottle of antibiotics all over it: For me this is like the rash that won’t go away. I don’t see how this supports any of the comprehensive plan goals, I don’t […]

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Acme Comedy: The Parking Crisis That Wasn’t

In 2016, Acme Comedy Co was the subject of the most high-profile movement to save a parking lot in recent Minneapolis history. If the owner of an adjacent parking lot was allowed to turn it into apartments, Acme’s owner predicted he would be forced to move his business out of Minneapolis to a parking-rich suburb. […]

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Where Will They Park? A Video Series

A little more than a year ago, I was inspired to create what has been called “the definitive three-part [film] series about the people and culture of Saint Paul.” But the deep concerns about car storage that I explored in that series aren’t unique to Saint Paul. During the most recent meeting of the Minneapolis City Planning […]

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Our Winter Sidewalks Are Broken

Snow emergencies are a big deal here in Minneapolis. You hear about it on the TV news. There’s an app–tens of thousands of people have installed it on both iPhone and Android (“avoid the cost and hassle of a ticket and tow…”). People are very interested in not having their cars towed, so people become very interested in […]

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