Author Archive | John Edwards

Park Vs. Parking

Uptown’s Mall: More Park, Less Parking

If you’ve ever been to Uptown’s The Mall, you might not have realized it’s a park administered by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. It can feel more like a nicely landscaped parking lot with a generous grassy median. The drive-able portion of The Mall seems to serve the function of letting drivers hunt for […]

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Drive-Through Ban Gets Positive Reception at Minneapolis Planning Commission

On Thursday, the Minneapolis Planning Commission was supportive of a proposed ordinance from Council President Lisa Bender that would prohibit new drive-throughs for banks, drugstores, and fast food restaurants (or any other “facility which accommodates automobiles and from which the occupants of the automobiles may make purchases or transact business”). It’s important to emphasize: if […]

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Edina Debates a Comprehensive Plan

Edina’s City Council approved a draft comprehensive plan last Tuesday. While it’s not nearly as ambitious as the 2040 plan approved last year in Minneapolis, the Edina plan has still attracted some organized opposition. Bruce Christensen, creator of two anti-population growth websites in Edina (stopthelid.com and We Can Do Better Edina), led a contingent of of residents whose testimony […]

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Richfield Considers Lowering Parking Minimums

On Monday April 22, the Richfield Planning Commission split 3-3 on a recommendation by planning staff to reduce parking minimums in mixed use zoning districts. In areas near transit, the plan would reduce minimum requirements from 1.5 to one space per unit. Outside of areas with high frequency transit, parking minimums would be made consistent […]

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Electric Bike Share Coming Soon to Minneapolis

The big news for bike share in Minneapolis this year is electric bikes. At a City Council meeting on Tuesday, the executive director of the bike share non-profit Nice Ride Minnesota, Bill Dossett, presented an outline of their 2019 plans. The numbers: 578 dockless “hubs” (14 per sq mile) 1,500 dockless bikes 1,800 electric bikes […]

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Renter Homeowner

Minneapolis Neighborhood Organizations Fall Short of Diversity Targets

The percentage of people of color and renters serving on the boards of Minneapolis neighborhood organizations has remained flat since 2014, far below their share of the city’s population as a whole. This is according to a demographic survey conducted by the city’s Neighborhood and Community Relations department. The results were presented to the City […]

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Big Developers, Big Business, Big Southwest Agree on Mpls 2040

The Star Tribune got big local developer Kelly Doran to talk about Minneapolis 2040, a plan that would allow more housing across all parts of the city. Doran said 2040 was “silly,” and that triplexes won’t turn him a profit. He even sees it as a threat to neighborhood character. It’s funny because Doran is constructing […]

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Minneapolis Inclusionary Zoning Debate Kicks off at City Hall

The Minneapolis City Planning Commission held a preliminary discussion about inclusionary zoning on Thursday night. Inclusionary zoning is a requirement that new apartment construction include a certain percentage of affordable units. Until a permanent policy can be adopted, City Council President Lisa Bender wants to implement an interim policy alongside the Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan. […]

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Where is Everyone Going to Live?

The forces of the housing status quo are sharpening their knives in advance of the release of Minneapolis 2040 Draft 2. As we begin a new chapter in this never-ending conversation, let’s go back to the basics. First, you should know that the current zoning code in Minneapolis basically allows one of two things: Big […]

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The Shape of the Minneapolis Inclusionary Zoning Debate

Inclusionary zoning is an umbrella term for a wide range of policies designed to encourage or require the inclusion of affordable units in new housing construction. Here are three example scenarios from yesterday’s presentation to the Minneapolis City Council’s Housing Policy and Development Committee: Require 15% of a new building’s units be affordable to households […]

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