Archive | Development

Everyone Loves Ice Cream: A Case for Land Co Ops

I think a wild blind spot at StreetsMN is the idea that there are only two possibilities for residential property development. A) Private ownership by young growing Single Family with golden retriever and infinite sums of cash to refinish the cool old house. B) Private ownership by profit driven private developer. Considering the golden retriever […]

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I Was Radicalized By Minneapolis 2040

I have a suggestion for anyone doubting the cataclysmic effects Minneapolis 2040 would have on Southwest Minneapolis. Drive down Bryant Avenue from 50th to Lake Street and have a look around. What you see might just open your eyes, change your tune, and flip your port-o-hammock. I was driving down Bryant Avenue the other day […]

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Arguments Against Minneapolis’s Draft Comprehensive Plan, Addressed (Part III)

Phew! The public comment phase of the exhaustively publicized, discussed, and public-feedback-solicited 2040 Minneapolis Comprehensive Plan is over. I don’t know about you, but I am incredibly aware of the existence of this planning process and of my opportunities and methods for learning what the draft plan contains, and for offering my feedback! However, the planning […]

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Why is New Housing So Expensive?

Minneapolis needs more homes. That idea is one of the core tenets of the Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan. For a number of reasons (demographic, economic, cultural, etc.), more people are, and soon will be, living in the city. We need enough homes for everyone who is choosing to live here, or we’ll continue to see […]

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Three Reasons I Support Saint Paul’s Plans for a Smaller Pedro Park

If you don’t know about downtown Saint Paul’s Pedro Park controversy — or even how to correctly pronounce the name “Pedro” (hint: you probably don’t) — here’s a quick summary from the recent Pioneer Press article, “Six residents quit St. Paul’s Pedro Park design committee in protest”: On Saturday, residents of several downtown St. Paul […]

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I Find Your Appeal Most Unappealing

A local Saint Paul group calling itself Neighbors for Responsible Development recently appealed a decision of the Saint Paul Planning Commission to approve a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for building height for construction being proposed for 246 Snelling Ave S. by TJL Development, LLC. This group has repeatedly claimed that their voice is not being […]

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Confessions of a Former NIMBY

When I was a teenager, a multi-family housing development was proposed next door to my family’s home in Little Canada. The developer wanted to put two rows of townhomes where there was a small home on a large lot. People in the neighborhood resisted (including my family), and ultimately the city council decided not to […]

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Changing Housing Politics Means Changes For Transit Planning

One of the places that planners have been talking a lot about in the past decade is Tysons Corner, VA. A Washington D.C. suburb known for having a big mall where world’s first Apple Store opened, Tysons Corner had also managed to attract a number of major office tenants, and was something of a regional […]

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Jump Starting the Benefits of ADUs in Minneapolis

Let’s talk about ADUs. First the definition from the City of Minneapolis: An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) – also referred to as a granny flat, mother-in-law apartment, or carriage house – is a self-contained living unit that can be located within the walls of an existing or newly constructed home, or that can be an […]

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What “Two and a Half Stories” Actually Looks Like

The 2040 Minneapolis Comprehensive Plan has proposed that we open all single-family homes and duplexes to being bulldozed and replaced with fourplexes. This has, rightly, alarmed many people.  Some parts of the City would benefit from more density but indiscriminately bulldozing homes would destroy the fabric of many of our neighborhoods. Housing advocates have said […]

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