Archive | zoning

Edina Debates a Comprehensive Plan

Edina’s City Council approved a draft comprehensive plan last Tuesday. While it’s not nearly as ambitious as the 2040 plan approved last year in Minneapolis, the Edina plan has still attracted some organized opposition. Bruce Christensen, creator of two anti-population growth websites in Edina (stopthelid.com and We Can Do Better Edina), led a contingent of of residents whose testimony […]

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The Planned Failure of the Ford Site

On January 25, 2019, Ryan Companies presented its plan for the Ford Site redevelopment to the St. Paul Planning Commission. One third of the way through the presentation, Ryan officials finished talking about themselves and turned to the city’s (supposed) vision for the Ford Site, That vision includes environmental sustainability, vibrant urban infill and a transit-oriented […]

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New Proposed Northeast Development Checks All The Boxes

On Thursday, February 28, LanderGroup will present its proposal for a new development on vacant, industrially-zoned land across two properties, at 2301 California Street NE and 78 23rd Avenue NE. That night there will be both meetings at the Planning Commission Committee of the Whole and the Bottineau Neighborhood Association. The proposal includes 24 townhomes and 110 […]

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St. Paul 2040 Could Learn Something from St. Paul 1922

As Saint Paul debates its 2040 plan, it is revealing to look back at one of the city’s first zoning maps from the early 1920s. A little inspection of the map reveals some of the origins of the city’s current social geography and social divides, but also some elements worthy of resurrection. The dominance of […]

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Brit Builds an ADU: Who Would Want an Accessory Dwelling Unit?

Two years ago my family of three adults, a polyamorous family with my wife and husband, bought a three bedroom, two bathroom house in south Minneapolis. It’s charming and has fantastic 1940s details like coved ceilings, stucco exterior, and a smallish footprint at about 1600 sq ft. I work from home full-time and we have […]

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Here’s Some Research Backing Up Minneapolis 2040

Some Minneapolis 2040 detractors have complained that no evidence has been offered that building more housing where people want to live (i.e. “density”) is good. “I just don’t see it as a way that we would get a measurable impact, and especially from an affordability standpoint,” Ward 13 Council Member Linea Palmisano told the Star Tribune. Another […]

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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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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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Two Perspectives On The Housing Crisis: Affordable Housing vs Housing Affordability

The battlefield of the urban housing crisis is a confusing place to find oneself these days. At a time when American politics are as starkly divided as they have been in a century, housing politics do not fit comfortably into the familiar right-left narrative. Among a variety of constituencies, from older homeowning liberals to younger […]

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