Archive | Planning

Southwest Minneapolis: Critical to Minneapolis 2040

Where do people want to live? The short answer: Minneapolis. Millennials don’t want to spend their lives inside cars, and older residents don’t want to be dependent on driving for simple tasks like getting groceries or picking up a few things at Target. People increasingly want to live near the amenities of a city as […]

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RRFBs: A False Sense of Protection

When Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons (RRFBs) started appearing in Bloomington and Edina I thought they would be a huge improvement for pedestrian safety, but having used them numerous times I’ve realized they’re a compromise on safety and neither motorists or pedestrians are the winners. RRFBs are a safety device used at crosswalks in which a […]

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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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Yes to Homes, But I’m No “YIMBY”

A couple weeks ago, I packed my bags and headed off to Boston for an annual gathering called YIMBYtown. I’m no YIMBY. I want everyone to have a safe, affordable place to live, and for that to happen we need to build enough homes to go around. (Yes, that includes apartments, like my own apartment-that-is-a-home.) […]

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Building a Better Frost Avenue

While I was reading through September’s issue of “Maplewood Living”, a monthly municipal newsletter, something stuck out in the proposed 2019-2023 Capital Improvement Plan being considered by Maplewood’s City Council. Next year, in 2019, Maplewood will be implementing the “Gladstone Area Phase 3 Improvements”, including reconstructing Frost Ave from English St to White Bear Ave. […]

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Good vs Bad Density

Peter Stalland / Tyr Development has proposed building a 140 unit apartment complex in the midst of low density residential in Vadnais Heights. I believe it will have 140 parking spaces below ground and 140 parking spaces above ground so two per unit. This is the second plan submitted by the developer. This 3-story plan […]

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The Saint Paul 2040 Comprehensive Plan

The world faces rapid man-made climate change that some scientists are saying is now beyond our ability to control. Yet we have a con-man president who believes, despite overwhelming evidence, that Climate change is a hoax. This is hardly surprising given that he’s been getting his information about climate change and many other issues from […]

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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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Planning Plazas for Safe Protest

Since the 2016 elections, I have followed the news chronicling the latest demonstrations and protests on a wide range of issues — including immigration, inequality, and women’s rights — and felt inspired by the people who are no longer content with waiting for someone else to make change happen. At the same time, I am […]

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Minneapolis 2040 Is More Than Fourplexes and High-Rises

Contrary to most of the commentary, Minneapolis 2040, this decade’s comprehensive plan re-do, is about a lot more than allowing fourplexes in all of Minneapolis and skyscraper apartments in your neighborhood. It starts with 14 basic goals adopted by the City Council to provide direction to staff in the development of the draft Comprehensive Plan. The 97 policies in the Comprehensive Plan flow from those goals. Under […]

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