Category: Land Use

Map of the Day: Substandard Lot Sizes in Minneapolis

There are more than 14,000 residential lots in Minneapolis that are smaller than what is currently required to build on per the current zoning code. Now, this is a messy statement. There are multiple minimum lot sizes (5,000 square feet, 6,000 square feet, and a large lot zone where the number is based on the […]

Some Alternative Options in Detached Housing, Part 1

There’s many advantages to living in a detached house – they generally offer more space, more separation and privacy from neighbors, and a discrete place to drive up to, look at, and call your own. But there’s definitely drawbacks to the primary ways of acquiring a detached home (owning a house and land or renting […]

Stitching Together Duluth’s Downtown and Waterfront – Part Two

The Duluth Waterfront Collective is a group of planners, designers, thinkers, and others united in our desire to create a more livable, equitable and sustainable Duluth. Our plan, entitled Highway 61 Revisited, takes an eraser to a one-mile stretch of Interstate 35 and will use a community engagement process to draw in the blank space […]

Will Minneapolis 2040 Live Up to its Promise?

Undoing failed zoning by basing new rules on the development that occurred under that failed zoning is a cycle doomed to repeat past failures. If you want to get the diversity of buildings we used to have, you have to work back from what you want.

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Is It Time To Look Past the Missing Middle?

In the “before-times”, housing advocates in Minneapolis worked with a progressive city council to pass the 2040 Plan. The New York Times proclaimed, “Minneapolis, Tackling Housing Crisis and Inequity, Votes to End Single-Family Zoning”. These were all great achievements, and it is clear that 2040, inclusionary zoning, and other reforms and investments have made real […]

Stitching Together Duluth’s Downtown and Waterfront – Part One

The Duluth Waterfront Collective is a group of planners, designers, thinkers and more, united in our desire to create a more livable, equitable and sustainable Duluth. Our plan, entitled Highway 61 Revisited, takes an eraser to a one-mile stretch of Interstate 35 and will use a community engagement process to draw in the blank space […]

Why Minneapolis needs a Land Value Tax

This image shows a mostly undeveloped parking lot, occupying a full block of prime real estate in the heart of downtown Minneapolis. Why does this lot remain underdeveloped? The owner of the land could increase their income drastically if they developed the land to its fullest potential. Additionally, the city as a whole would gain […]

Drive-Thrus are Bad for Cities and Saint Paul Should Stop Permitting Them

Earlier this month, the Saint Paul Planning Commission approved another drive-thru in the urban core, confirming a conditional use permit (CUP) for a 1,800-square-foot, one-story Taco Bell restaurant on a 16,500-square-foot lot with the vast majority of the remaining land used for parking and a drive-thru lane. The location is just over 1,000 feet from […]

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Stillwater’s Parking Ramp Problems

This is Part Four in a loosely-related series of the evolution of retail and parking issues. Part One covered the alleged dislike of people for parking ramps and why it’s causing problems for the Shops of West End. Part Two covered the evolution of regional retail from downtown to lifestyle centers. Part Three compared several […]