Archive | zoning

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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I Was Radicalized By Minneapolis 2040

I have a suggestion for anyone doubting the cataclysmic effects Minneapolis 2040 would have on Southwest Minneapolis. Drive down Bryant Avenue from 50th to Lake Street and have a look around. What you see might just open your eyes, change your tune, and flip your port-o-hammock. I was driving down Bryant Avenue the other day […]

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St. Paul Housing: A Modern Historical Tragic Comedy

The “character” of a place means various things to different people. The Las Vegas strip clearly is of a different character than Boston’s North End. Highland, with it’s strip malls, peripheral stroads and a dendritic-street designed neighborhood by golf courses is of a different character than Mac-Grove, with its older buildings, grid structure, and more atomized zoning. […]

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Minneapolis Comp Plan Review: Access to Housing

This post is the first in a series originally posted by Neighbors for More Neighbors that will take a deeper dive into the draft Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan. The city is soliciting feedback on the plan until July 22nd, and it is important that they hear input on the elements that will help support N4MN’s […]

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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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