Author Archive | John Edwards

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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snow emergency app

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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“Intentional Communities”: A Path to Legal Status for White People

Over time, average family sizes get smaller, and old houses get emptier. But in Minneapolis’ lower-density zoning districts, no more than three unrelated people can live together as a household; in higher-density districts, the limit is five unrelated people. For people who want to live with three or more friends in a big old house, this is a problem. As a […]

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A Zoning Code That Matches Our Values

In commenting on the city’s current plan to downzone the Wedge neighborhood, former Minneapolis city planner Perry Thorvig has given us some historical perspective. He starts off by celebrating the results of the 1975 downzoning: The zoning scheme adopted in 1975 must have worked. It was gratifying to me and I’m sure many neighborhood residents, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Neighborhood Group Votes for More Parking, Higher Rents

The Southwest Journal reports on a housing competition in Minneapolis: Lyndale neighborhood residents heard two competing development concepts Monday for 3329 Nicollet Ave., and voted 20-11 in favor of the pitch that provided the most parking. The developers’ concepts ranged from eight-unit townhouses rising three stories with garages, to a four-story apartment building with at […]

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The Day the Laughter Died: Acme Comedy’s Parking Crisis

As someone who follows local development politics pretty closely, I’ve been watching a strange new debate unfold at City Hall. We’re used to hearing concerns about parking and neighborhood “character” from longtime homeowners. Now, that same argument is coming from a cast of comedians in support of Acme Comedy Co’s quest to stop the development […]

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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 […]

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Tribute to Parking and Industrial Areas We Have Lost

Over the last ten years, Minneapolis’ Wedge neighborhood has seen the industrial and parking areas adjacent to the Midtown Greenway transformed into one apartment building after another. It’s a process that’s increasingly familiar to many neighborhoods across the Twin Cities. Here’s a pretend mournful look back at what one neighborhood has lost, and what others may have coming their way. […]

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