Archive | zoning

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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It’s a Plan, Not a Code

“[S]mall-scale residential structures.” These are the words the draft Minneapolis 2040 comprehensive plan uses to describe the massing of buildings to be allowed in the Interior 1 category, most of which is currently zoned R1 or “single family.” Carol Becker knows this, because I’ve told her (also here). When asked last week at a Longfellow […]

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Map Monday: Minneapolis New Construction vs. Land Use Zoning

It’s not technically Monday but it feels like it is, so here’s a map from indefatigable Tweetable map-maker Scott Shaffer. It shows the number of “new construction permits” (i.e. bulldozing of an existing building slash parking lot) in Minneapolis over the last eight years or so. As you can see, the vast majority of new […]

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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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Bring Back Streetcar Living

Minneapolis is a streetcar city. Maybe it’s hard to tell if you mostly experience it by using a freeway to get to downtown, but out on the city’s surface streets, it’s easy to see once you know what you’re looking at. The last streetcar rails were torn up (or just as likely, paved over) in […]

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Chart of the Day: Loss of Duplex/Triplex/Fourplex Homes in Minneapolis

Like a lot of other places, Minneapolis has a zoning code that promotes areas of low-density or high-density with little in between. That rapidly shrinking segment of homes in between is often referred to as the Missing Middle. One advantage (among others) of small apartment houses is that they’re less expensive to build per unit […]

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Starter Homes Are Dead, Long Live Starter Homes

As you may have heard, the Minneapolis draft comprehensive plan includes a proposal to lift the ban on small (2-3 story) multifamily buildings in most of the city, and to allow new fourplexes in all residential areas. Council Members Cam Gordon and Andrew Johnson have said they worry these policies will cause the destruction of […]

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The Last Temptation of the YIMBY

When I heard that Minneapolis’s comprehensive plan would remove restrictions on building two- to four-unit homes in areas previously zoned R1 or R1A (including my neighborhood, Longfellow) I was thrilled. I consider the restrictions on these types of “missing middle” housing a nearly insurmountable threat to achieving Minneapolis’s population growth and sustainability goals. In addition, […]

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