Category: Land Use

Hennepin Avenue Hopes: Visions for a People-Centered Corridor

I’ve been daydreaming of Hennepin Avenue’s redo since its reconstruction was first announced a few years ago. Using streetmix (a free browser-based app), I created a cross-section of what I think Hennepin should look like, as a people-oriented community corridor and transit route designed as if science matters. The terrifying scientific consensus on the timeline […]

Three Ways of Looking at the Lexington and University Development Debate

At one level, all you need to know about the proposed development on Lexington Parkway, just south of University Avenue, is that it meets every rule in the St. Paul Zoning Code. That’s the point I was trying to make during the intense Planning Commission meeting ten days ago. The vote was part of a […]

Learn to Love Shared Walls

To get the sustainable, vibrant, and livable cities we say we want, we’re all going to have to learn to love shared walls. I’m in my mid 30s, and in that privileged class where many or most of my friends are in professional jobs and hitting that point in their careers where they’re looking to […]

Preserve The Future, Not Just The Past

Because I have a lot of important things to fill my time, I recently tuned in to a meeting of the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission. There was just one item on the agenda: the proposed demolition of a low-slung downtown office building at 17 N Washington Avenue, which would then be replaced by a 27 […]

Some Alternative Options in Detached Housing, Part Two

Many people want to live in a new-construction, detached home, but the traditional way to achieve that – owning your own house and lot – may not be achievable or desirable for all. Part one of this series covered two options: owning the interior only of a detached structure, either a traditional detached townhome, or […]

Reconnection, Revitalization, and Restitution for I-94 Communities

Saint Paul’s historic Rondo neighborhood is a thriving, diverse community and home to many immigrant families and Black-owned businesses. It’s situated between University Avenue and the METRO Green Line to the north and Selby Avenue to the south. Black churches, businesses, and schools set down roots in the area in the late nineteenth and early […]

Why are Building Height Limits in Minneapolis 2040 Delaying Affordable Housing in Whittier?

The City of Minneapolis’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan promised to change our city’s approach to housing. The plan’s central argument is that the city needs more homes, especially since Minneapolis doesn’t have sufficient affordable and supportive housing for our most vulnerable community members. Decades of racist and exclusionary zoning policies have made Minneapolis one of the […]

Will Minneapolis’s Zoning Code Update Allow More Multi-Family Housing?

A version of this article was posted to the Neighbors for More Neighbors blog. When many people imagine housing for a family, the stereotypical image is a single-family home and expansive turf yard. And in many cities and towns around the country, minimum lot sizes and zoning requirements ensure that the only options available to […]

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 […]