Tag Archives: policy

21 North Washington Avenue, Minneapolis.

No, We Should Not Abolish the HPC. But It Could Look Different.

An essay posted January 15, 2021 on streets.mn entitled “Preserve The Future, Not Just The Past” is a fairly typical critique of heritage preservation and the role of heritage preservation commissions (HPCs) in American cities. The article points to the frequently absurd minutia and short-sightedness of HPC meetings and staff reports, but does not fully […]

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 […]

National Links: The Origins of Beer Gardens

Every day at The Overhead Wire we collect news about cities and send the links to our email list. At the end of the week we take some of the most popular stories and post them to Greater Greater Washington, a group blog similar to streets.mn that focuses on urban issues in the D.C. region. […]

Why Minneapolis needs a Land Value Tax

This image shows a mostly undeveloped parking lot, occupying a full block of prime real estate in the heart of downtown Minneapolis. Why does this lot remain underdeveloped? The owner of the land could increase their income drastically if they developed the land to its fullest potential. Additionally, the city as a whole would gain […]

Mpls Tax Base In Tif

FAQ: Tax Increment Financing

The recent Seward Commons debate highlighted an important discussion about how the city uses Tax Increment Financing, or TIF. It’s one of the few financial tools cities have and control fully. But it’s not broadly understood. So what is TIF and how does it work? What has Minneapolis used it for in the past? What […]

Minneapolis Default Modal Priority (draft) pedestrian, transit, bicycle, freight, motor vehicles

The Draft Complete Streets Policy is a Good Start for Minneapolis

Since the Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) first recommended the City of Minneapolis pass a “Complete Streets” policy in 2011, the city has been slow to actually pass and institutionalize it. I’m happy to announce that things are moving again! I attended an informal gathering to review the as-of-yet not public policy draft where the general consensus was, “A good start.” Admittedly, it […]