Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Rezoning Study?
A Rezoning Study is an analysis of the existing and proposed zoning regulations and maps in an area no less than 40 acres. The goal of a study is to encourage, facilitate, and implement policies and development envisioned in the City’s adopted comprehensive plan (Minneapolis 2040) and to prevent development that is inconsistent with the comprehensive plan. The City also has a legal obligation to ensure that zoning reflects the adopted comprehensive plan. Rezoning Studies usually result in a recommendation to change the zoning of multiple parcels so that zoning is consistent with adopted future land use plans.
What is the Built Form Rezoning Study?
Built form policies are a critical part of the City’s plan to diversify the city’s housing options, accommodate additional residents and jobs, and combat climate change. Implementation of built form guidance has been prioritized as a key step that will resolve substantial conflicts between adopted Minneapolis 2040 policies and existing zoning regulations while meeting key goals spelled out in the comprehensive plan. It is also intended to provide more predictability for the scale of new buildings and additions in different areas in the city, including neighborhoods, downtown, production/employment areas and areas served by high-frequency transit. The built form rezoning study will create 14 new built form overlay districts and map the entire city, showing the new districts on every property. These zoning districts will match the Built Form Map that the City Council already approved with Minneapolis 2040.
What is built form?
Built form regulations include structure height, setbacks (or yards), lot size, lot coverage (by structures), impervious surfaces, and floor area ratio (FAR), which is the overall square footage of a building relative to the size of the property. The current zoning districts generally implement built form regulations based on the base district (residential, commercial, industrial, etc.) The proposed amendments to the zoning code will move the built form regulations from the base districts into 14 new built form overlay districts that align with the built form categories shown in the comprehensive plan’s Built Form Map.
What is an overlay district?
An overlay district is established by the zoning regulations and may be more or less restrictive than the base zoning district. Where a property is located within an overlay district, it is subject to the provisions of both the base zoning district and the overlay district. The intent is to implement the built form based on locations determined in the comprehensive plan, rather than the base district, which primarily regulates the uses allowed on the property (e.g., residential, commercial, industrial, etc.).
Will my property be rezoned to add a built form overlay district?
Yes, every property in the City will have a built form district added, based on the built form map in Minneapolis 2040. However, this will not change the primary or base district regulating the use of the property and you can continue to use your property as you have in the past.
If my property is damaged or destroyed, can I rebuild it?
Yes. State law allows you to rebuild your property in the event it is damaged or destroyed by fire or other natural occurrence no matter what zoning district your property is in. Depending on your specific situation, there may be a limit on the length of time you can take to rebuild your property.
What other changes will be made to the zoning code?
Additional regulations related to built form will be implemented through separate ordinance changes including the adoption of the Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area zoning regulations and future updates to the site plan review chapter of the zoning code. Other changes to the zoning code expected in coming years include new base zoning districts that govern land use (residential, commercial, industrial, etc.) as outlined in the adopted plan, as well as changes to the way the City regulates the design of small apartment buildings.