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The City of Minneapolis is updating the zoning code to reach Minneapolis 2040 goals.

Go to the Built Form Rezoning Study page to review draft built form regulations.

BUILT FORM REZONING STUDY QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Built Form Rezoning Study Questions and Answers

City staff held three virtual public meetings in September and October 2020 on the Built Form Rezoning Study. Following are questions asked by members of the public at those meetings, with answers provided by staff. Questions and answers are organized by topic.

Lot Size

It looks like you're retaining low density districts that have minimum lot sizes of both 5,000 and 6,000 square feet. Can we standardize the minimum lot size? The 6,000 square foot minimum seems like a relic of an era when the city wanted to discourage new housing, which is counter to the goals of the 2040 plan.

Standardizing minimum lot sizes among districts such as R1 and R1A, for example, would be a potential option.  The staff recommendation is attempting to recognize and respect typical patterns in these areas at the same time we allow more housing options to be built on those lots. Most R1-zoned areas are zoned R1, in part, because lot sizes in those areas typically exceed 6,000 square feet in area. 

Why use past history of sizes when the 2040 plan looks to expand more housing?  Isn't that a self fulfilling prophecy?

To be clear, collecting data about previously approved developments does not mean that regulations will allow the same size of buildings in the same locations where they have always been allowed. Corridor 4, for example, is mapped in many areas where four-story buildings have not historically been allowed. To inform regulations for Corridor 4, it is useful to know what the floor area ratio has typically been for four-story buildings in those districts where they have been allowed.  

Why make a minimum size lot in interior 2 9,000 sq ft when there are a lot of sites that are currently R3-R6 which allows lower lot sizes?

Minneapolis 2040 guidance for Interior 2 says that: “Multifamily buildings with more than three units are permitted on larger lots.”  Our updated recommendation reduces the recommended minimum from 9,000 to 7,500.

There are thousands of Interior lots in Minneapolis that historically had and still have homes on them that do not meet current lot size minimums. What is the justification for not legalizing the homes that exist in Minneapolis in these recommendations?

Please note that those existing homes are “legal” because they are on a lot that exists on when current minimum lot areas were adopted.  New homes can also be built on existing lots that are nonconforming as to minimum lot area. 

 

FAR

How can you have 1.4 FAR?  Wouldn't 1 bet the largest?

FAR is a multiplier.  So an FAR of 1.4 means that the size of a lot multiplied by 1.4 equals the floor area allowed on the property.  For example:  10,000 square feet of lot area multiplied by 1.4 equals 14,000 square feet of floor area allowed on the lot. 

Seems like building a triplex in Interior 1-2 is impossible with a FAR of 0.5 (unless each home is very small).

On a 5,000 square foot lot, a 2,500 square foot residential building could be built.  That does not include half stories or basement spaces, which are not included in the calculation for 2.5 story buildings with 1-3 units. 

What is the public benefit from the Interior 1 and 2 districts and their lower density? It seems that in these districts it will be infeasible to actually build triplexes on an economic scale. This seems to cut against the goals of Mpls2040.

Staff’s recommendations align with our interpretation of the intent of each built form district and include our interpretation of specific staff direction that was adopted by the City Council for Interior 1, Interior 2, and Interior 3 when Minneapolis 2040 was adopted.

Why would you keep FAR generally the same in past Single Family areas? A FAR of .5 will make it impossible to build family oriented units. This needs to be increased.

The City Council adopted the following when Minneapolis 2040 was adopted:  “Directing staff to develop and retain regulations for the Interior 1, 2, and 3 built form district affecting building height, setbacks, and lot coverage that closely match existing requirements for single-family homes in lower-intensity zoning districts, and supports energy-efficient design.”

The 0.5 lot to floorspace ratio is a very simple metric. Why not limit total building land use in addition? (ex .25 max land space and .7 lot to above ground floorspace)?

FAR is a common metric in zoning ordinances. As proposed, FAR works in conjunction with other regulations and is relatively easy to interpret, administer, and enforce. 

You keep referring to the completed interior designations that were approved but as there were not information on FAR/Height etc., how would anyone have known lots of areas were getting downzoned or reduced heights?

Minneapolis 2040 recommendations included clear and relatively rigid height limits that were adopted into the plan. To those who’ve had a particular interest in properties located in neighborhood interiors, we believe it has been clear that some areas that historically had four-story zoning will now have height regulations that allow 2.5 or 3 stories.   

What is the basis for these recommendations? I heard that it's based on development from the last 5 years. When the type of Interior development called for in 2040 has been essentially illegal due to exclusionary zoning, how can that justifiably be used as the basis for the future code?

Interior 2 and 3 will allow multi-family developments with proposed FAR that we believe will make accommodate new housing options. For 1-3 unit buildings, staff is following direction received form the City Council:  “Directing staff to develop and retain regulations for the Interior 1, 2, and 3 built form district affecting building height, setbacks, and lot coverage that closely match existing requirements for single-family homes in lower-intensity zoning districts, and supports energy-efficient design.” 

Why does the plan not produce housing for families with children?  Why are the minimum FAR not big enough to require housing for families with children?

We believe the proposed regulations accommodate housing for families with children. For 1-3 unit buildings, staff is following direction received form the City Council:  “Directing staff to develop and retain regulations for the Interior 1, 2, and 3 built form district affecting building height, setbacks, and lot coverage that closely match existing requirements for single-family homes in lower-intensity zoning districts, and supports energy-efficient design.”

Why are the allowed FAR so low for duplexes and triplexes in Interior 2 and 3? Can those be increased? I've heard it's too hard to build affordable duplexes and triplexes under these regulations, and Interior 2 and 3 would be great places for more affordable types of housing

For 1-3 unit buildings, staff is following direction received form the City Council:  “Directing staff to develop and retain regulations for the Interior 1, 2, and 3 built form district affecting building height, setbacks, and lot coverage that closely match existing requirements for single-family homes in lower-intensity zoning districts, and supports energy-efficient design.”

How do those FARs for Interior 1, 2, and 3 compare to existing historic building (not recent building)? I think many 100 yearold buildings in Interior 3 are 1.6 for apartments, what is the rationale for making apartments that are similar to existing older buildings impossible to build, when the images in the plan explicitly include these types of buildings?

Staff’s recommendations would accommodate typical development patterns found in the city. 

Existing duplex and triplex development in Minneapolis was primarily built in the early part of the 20th century had a typical FAR of 0.5 on lots between 5,000 and 6,000 square feet.

Four- and five-unit buildings were also built primarily in the early 20th century and had a typical FAR of 0.6 on lots larger than 6,000 square feet.

Buildings with greater than 5 units and at scales of 2.5 to 3 stories are on larger lots, with a median between 10,000 and 11,000 square feet, have larger FARs, with a greater range and diversity in year of construction.

What is the typical/average lot size of areas currently zoned for single-family housing? The FAR requirements seem too low for Interior 1-3 for duplexes/triplexes to be built that would include more than just one bedroom units. I hope you'll consider increasing the FAR maximums so that duplexes and triplexes that can accomodate families can be built throughout our city.

Typical lots in lower-density areas are generally 5,000 to 6,000 square feet in area. 

Why are approved buildings the reason for FAR when 70% of new housing has been one bedroom or less?  Where do families live under this plan?

If one-bedroom units have been popular in recent construction, it’s because the market has been demanding them. To be clear, collecting data about previously approved developments does not mean that regulations will allow the same size of buildings in the same locations where they have always been allowed. Corridor 4, for example, is mapped in many areas where four-story buildings have not historically been allowed. To inform regulations for Corridor 4, it is useful to know what the floor area ratio has typically been for four-story buildings in those districts where they have been allowed.

Can staff challenge council guidance on limiting the building size for Interiors 1-2, given the fact that many older SFHs, duplexes, and triplexes are larger than what pre-2040 and existing zoning code allows?

Existing duplex and triplex development in Minneapolis was primarily built in the early part of the 20th century had a typical FAR of 0.5 on lots between 5,000 and 6,000 square feet.

Is there still time for the city council to give different direction regarding the FAR so that building three-bedroom duplexes and triplexes becomes more feasible?

The City Council may choose to reconsider their own previous guidance or interpret it differently. Staff is producing a recommendation that we believe adheres to their intent.

Where do children live under these FAR?

On a 5,000 square foot lot, a 2,500 square foot residential building could be built.  That does not include half stories or basement spaces, which are not included in the calculation for 2.5 story buildings with 1-3 units.    

Given 20% of the city is children, why doesn’t the city require 20% of new development include 3 bedrooms or more?  Why do FAR numbers not include enough size.

On a 5,000 square foot lot, a 2,500 square foot residential building could be built.  That does not include half stories or basement spaces, which are not included in the calculation for 2.5 story buildings with 1-3 units.  

Height

Why are you taking height limits down in many areas that will now be in interior 2 and 3?  Doesn't that go against the 2040 plan intent?

In the Minneapolis 2040 comprehensive plan, the height guidance in the Interior 2 and Interior 3 built form districts is to allow up to 2.5 stories in the Interior 2 district and up to 3 stories in the Interior 3 district.  The built form zoning code amendment is implementing the height guidance from the already adopted 2040 plan.

How do the heights of buildings interact with solar access.  What is the city's solar access policy in the 2040 comp plan?

The Minneapolis 2040 comprehensive plan has two action steps related to solar access.   

Policy 69, g. Encourage solar-friendly designs and provisions that protect solar access on commercial and residential buildings.  

Policy 6, g.    Encourage building placement that where possible enables solar access and allows light and air into the site and surrounding properties and supports energy efficient lighting.

In general, there is not a requirement that buildings constructed within the maximum height allowed in a built form district maintain solar access for an adjacent property.  When increases to the maximum height requirements are requested, impacts to solar access is one of the considerations for whether or not to allow the height increase.

Has there been discussion of allowing for height increases in Interior 3, particularly for affordable housing? I have seen a number of plots which currently allow for four stories and were zoning interior 3 in the new plan, to the detriment of proposed affordable housing complex. Why is this height max firm and could that be revisited?

The Minneapolis 2040 comprehensive plan has clear guidance for the height allowed in the Interior 3 built form district and does not include guidance for height increases above that limit as it does in the Corridor, Transit, Productions and Parks built form districts.  Revisiting this policy guidance would require a comprehensive plan amendment.

If a home has a flat roof, how does that square with the 2.5 story rule. does it mean flat roof homes are limited to 2 stories?

Per the zoning code definition of half story, a half story has either a gable or hip roof.  The definition of half story is not proposed to change as part of the built form rezoning study amendment.  Therefore a dwelling with a flat roof would be limited to 2 stories.

Premiums

What are premiums?

Premiums are incentives that include requirements for incorporating features into a development project to ensure it goes even further toward achieving policy goals of the Minneapolis 2040 comprehensive plan. A development that provides premiums may be eligible for floor area ratio and/or height increases.

We need a FAR bonus for duplexes/triplexes in interior 1 and interior 2.

When the city council adopted the Minneapolis 2040 comprehensive plan, they also adopted the following directive:  “Directing staff to develop and retain regulations for the Interior 1, 2, and 3 built form district affecting building height, setbacks, and lot coverage that closely match existing requirements for single-family homes in lower-intensity zoning districts, and supports energy-efficient design.”  There are currently no authorized floor area ratio bonuses for single-family dwellings.  Although the comprehensive plan includes policies that support up to 3 dwellings units on a zoning lot in the lower-intensity zoning districts, allowing FAR bonuses in Interior 1 and Interior 2 built form districts for duplexes and triplexes would be a departure from the council directive unless otherwise directed by the council.

For the FAR premiums related to height on sustainability and climate, will this connect with the new sustainable building policies the city is developing?

The City of Minneapolis Sustainability Office has been involved in the development of the premium related to climate resilience.  While the proposed premium will not be as high a standard as the policies for City owned and operated buildings, it exceeds the building code requirement and will further policies for climate resilience.

How do you ensure that a building getting the premium for a grocery store or child care center actually does lease the space to those uses and they don't just sit empty (as happens sometimes when ground floor retail is required but not supported by the market)?

This has been a question considered in the development of these premiums. The Minneapolis 2040 comprehensive plan has multiple policies supporting the establishment of more grocery stores and child care centers to ensure food access and to the entire city.  The benefits were determined to outweigh the risks, and therefore are proposed as premiums.  If a development proposes one of these premiums, the approvals for the development are tied to meeting the standards of the premium. The standards are also required to be maintained for the life of the development project.  In the event that the premium standards are not met, either a different premium will need to be provided or a variance (for an FAR increase) or a rezoning and comprehensive plan amendment (for a height increase) will need to be requested through a public hearing process.

I like providing incentives for grocery stores, child-care centers but I don't understand providing an incentive for Skyway connections. It's something developers already want, why bother rewarding for something they are already interested in doing?

A premium for skyways currently exists in the zoning ordinance for downtown districts.  There are public benefits to the skyway system, including sheltered, conditioned space in inclement weather.  This particular premium would only be an option in the Transit 30 and Core 50 built form districts, where the most development intensity is allowed.  If certain proposed premiums are not valued by communities (or have considerably less value than other proposed premiums), the planning commission and city council will be able to take that feedback into consideration in acting on the draft ordinance. 

I noticed there was a FAR incentive for enclosed parking. Why not offer a FAR bonus for zero or low parking for larger developments?

While many of policies in the Minneapolis 2040 comprehensive plan support reducing dependency on personal automobiles, the plan also acknowledges that demand for parking will result in new supply being built.  When parking is incorporated into a development, enclosed parking is preferred over surface parking because of the adverse impacts of surface parking, such as aesthetics, potentially more hardcover/less green space and underutilization of space. Since there is a substantially higher development cost for enclosed parking, the purpose of the incentive is to encourage enclosing parking when parking is already proposed as part of a development.  Also, above-grade enclosed parking will now be counted towards the maximum floor area, where it currently does not count.  Since there is not a cost to the developer for providing zero or very few parking spaces in larger developments, CPED staff is not recommending this as an incentive to achieve more allowed floor area.

Banks currently are unlikely to finance zero-parking project, so while parking requirements are slated to be eliminated, we need to incentivize no-parking developments. This is because research shows that parking incentivizes driving more than any other single aspect of built form. Offering a premium for enclosed parking actually undermines the desire to reduce driving in the city by 30%, a goal in 2040. How can we ensure that the built form regulations encourage what we want, rather than what we don't want? This is especially important in Interior 3 and Interior 2 where we have good transit.

Please see response to the previous question.  When the parking requirements in the zoning code are updated to better align with the comprehensive plan policy guidance, maximum parking requirements will also be reexamined.

As the city densifies, trees & green space are very important. Can we offer incentives for greening of public paths (more urban forest)?

In the enhanced public realm premium, providing more green space, including trees, will be incentivized.  Other premiums that incentive more green space include environmental sustainability (ecological function) and outdoor open space. While the standards for the latter two premiums do not require that the landscaping/green space be adjacent to a public path, it is expected that more landscaping will be part of or at least visible from the public realm as a result of these premiums being implemented.

Hello, I live in the ECCO neighborhood. I believe I’m like many here who welcome more density, but want development to be balanced and thoughtful. I’m wondering about some of the details of the premium system with respect to height, especially when I think about development along our northern neighborhood edge, along Lake Street. That area is currently zoned C1 (2.5 stories) and R4 (4 stories), and thus the new Corridor 6 designation is already a significant jump to 6 stories. Now, if I read this premium system correctly, it looks as if a developer would quite easily be able to build to 10 stories, which is quite a massive jump from the current 2.5 or 4 stories. I wonder if you could address the sense I have that fulfilling 4 premiums for height increase would be relatively easy, and thus (for example) very large 10-story buildings will likely soon appear in Corridor 6 areas. I’m particularly concerned about the capaciousness of the language in the memorandum; while you might say that the intent is that they will be interpreted narrowly, we all know that there are planning commissioners and city planners who will push to interpret them as loosely as possible. --""Enhanced public realm"" has no definition in the memorandum (p. 22), and I wonder how is it different from another, separate premium ""Outdoor open space"", which has fairly basic standards that I imagine a developer would be likely to include anyway. Furthermore, I can imagine it not being terribly difficult to create a “Through-Block Connection” that is both public and outdoor, and a developer receiving three extra stories quite effortlessly. --To fulfill the “Affordable Housing” premium, it appears the developer of a large (50+ unit) project need simply to follow the City’s current inclusionary housing requirement and add one more affordable apartment or two, and they will receive this premium. Is that indeed a correct reading?

Some parts of the draft code amendment that was posted for the public review period, such as the enhanced public realm premium, were still under development.  It is unlikely that there would be overlap (I.e. double-counting) between the standards required for the enhanced public realm and the outdoor open space premiums.  The City’s inclusionary housing (IH) ordinance and updated Unified Housing Policy underwent extensive analysis before adoption by the city council.  The IH ordinance requires a developer to either provide affordable units on-site or comply with one of three alternative options. However, providing the affordable units on-site furthers the most goals of the comprehensive plan.  This premium would therefore provide an incentive for developers to do on-site affordable units and take on additional financial complexities rather than pursuing an easier option to comply with the ordinance.

Can you speak to the construction type and environmental sustainability premiums?  Do you have examples?

The types of construction referenced in the premiums (Type IA, Type IB, Type IIA, or Type IV) are considered the most noncombustible (such as concrete, steel and heavy timber frame) by the building code and more expensive to build compared to other types of construction, such as wood frame.  These more noncombustible types of construction are commonly found in high-rise buildings, hospitals and new school buildings.  The incentive would not be available in built form districts where the minimum height requirement would necessitate building one of these types of construction.

Two premiums for environmental sustainability are proposed.  One is related to climate resilience.  The purpose of this premium is to incentivize more energy efficient buildings that exceed the requirements of the building code.  The other is related to ecological function, the purpose of which is to reduce stormwater runoff and increase infiltration of stormwater on-site through a green roof installation and more at-grade landscaping, including native and pollinator plants.

Are there any procedures in place to ensure a mixture of premiums are met within individual neighborhoods?

The draft amendment does not include a requirement that certain premiums or a mix of premiums are provided in individual neighborhoods.  Each draft premium is tied to one or more goals in the comprehensive plan which was the framework for its development.

Lot Coverage

What is the basis for lot coverage percentages?

Maximum lot coverage and maximum impervious surface coverage standards are established to combat the urban heat island effect, promote adequate space for landscaping, reinforce existing or planned development patterns, and to reduce stormwater runoff and encourage the natural absorption of stormwater into the soil.

Lot coverage percentages are largely based on existing allowed percentages in the zoning ordinance, but are also informed by modeling of floor area ratio limits and setbacks to determine a reasonable balance between achieving a variety of Minneapolis 2040 goals.

Did staff consider performance metrics around runoff, water infiltration, etc rather than blunt setback and lot coverage metrics? Will the homeowners complaining about density replace the 10x22' patch of asphalt on the street in front of their house with a stormwater retention landscaping feature if they care about runoff so much?

Performance metrics were considered, and are present in a limited capacity in other parts of the ordinance (PUD chapter, Height and FAR premiums). Performance metrics can be useful but also need to be balanced with the goal for the ordinance to be simple for stakeholders to understand and for staff to administer. It should also be noted that water infiltration is not the only goal of implementing setback and lot coverage regulations, as explained in the answer to the previous question.

Other/Multiple Topics

Any impacts on the size of accessory dwelling units.  Can you add a tiny house on your lot if you have a space?

The accessory dwelling units regulations are not changing as a part of this ordinance.

We were told there would be no variances.  I have heard 3 versions so far in this meeting.  1. "far fewer variances requested or granted"  2. Hope to reduce the number of variances. 3. Will be more difficult to get than they are now.  They are EASY to get now, so easier than now does not suggest that it would be difficult.  This language is not in line with the promises made to the public.  Can you please clarify?

Variances will still be allowed, but it is anticipated that the predictability and flexibility of the ordinance will reduce the number requested and granted.

Are the overlay regs being developed be more or less restrictive than they are now?

In some ways they are more restrictive, for example, while height increases are allowed, a maximum limit is established where one would need an amendment to the comprehensive plan to allow a taller building. In other was they are less restrictive, as the built form districts now define the height of buildings allowed, while before height was determined based on land use features that had an element of subjectivity.

Where do we see the maps of the R, OR etc districts?

The current maps can be found on the City’s webpage:

http://www2.minneapolismn.gov/zoningmaps/zoning_code_index

How will the regs assure the _variety _called for in Corridor 3?

The regulations will allow variety, but do not ensure that it will happen.

You have stated this plan makes development much more predictable. Will there be less greenspace under this plan?

The stated advantage of predictability in the development process is that when a property owner or developer proposes new development, the rules are clear and everyone knows what’s allowed.

Areas designated as parks and open space on the plan are relatively similar to the current comprehensive plan.

A primary goal of the 2040 plan was to densify and add housing.  If limitations restrict building, how will this be addressed.

In many areas or the city the new built from districts allow more density than current zoning districts.

Why does the changes not require housing to match surrounding mass and height?

Draft response (needs editing): It's not possible for the city to meet the demands for new housing by only limiting new development to the existing surrounding mass and height. Furthermore, the nature of existing development in places like LRT stations simply does not reflect the intended future condition that supports transit - keeping in mind the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other comp plan goals. The recommendations follow the built for districts already adopted by the City Council. In some cases, that means new development will be bigger than its surroundings, in order to meet plan goals.

Why does the zoning not require parking, something critical for parents, the elderly and parents with small children?

Given the average distance people need to go to get jobs is about eight miles on average and transit ridership has plummeted, and transit accesses only a tiny number of jobs, how do you justify building housing without parking?  How do you expect people to get to jobs?  To schools, as parents use transit at 1/4 the rate of non parents because they have to take their kids to school before work? How do people get their groceries home if they have to feed a family in the winter on a bus in January when it is 20 below? 

In the time since Minneapolis reduced residential parking requirements, the ratio of parking spaces provided in development has declined. At the same time, Minneapolis has experienced a decline in vehicle miles traveled. Research is clear that access to abundant parking increases automobile travel. Minneapolis 2040 outlines a vision for the City where owning and using an automobile is a choice, not a necessity.

I am so appreciative of your work so far to advance racial equity and greater use of public transit. And, can you please explain why the proposed regulations still make it very difficult to build three to four bedroom units in triplexes and ADUs? That seems to contradict the stated goals of the 2040 plan. Thank you.

When the city council adopted the Minneapolis 2040 comprehensive plan, they also adopted the following directive:  “Directing staff to develop and retain regulations for the Interior 1, 2, and 3 built form district affecting building height, setbacks, and lot coverage that closely match existing requirements for single-family homes in lower-intensity zoning districts, and supports energy-efficient design.”

Why have historical preservation requirements been rescinded? 

The current historic preservation regulations remain in effect and are not planned to be rescinded.

Does this change fencing code as well?

The regulations regarding fencing are not changing.

Why was the shoreline ordinance eliminated?  How does this protect the environment?

The Shoreland ordinance is not being eliminated and remains in effect.

Has there been any consideration of adding design requirements in residential areas, especially historic neighborhoods?

Historic districts will continue to use the Secretary of the Interior’s standards and adopted guidelines.

Does the current built-form guidance take into account townhomes or row-homes? Attached single-fam homes with shared walls but separately-platted lots don't show as styles allowed based on lot size, setbacks, etc

Townhomes and rowhomes are allowed through the cluster development standards.

Why are there no regulations to stop the corporatization of housing?  In fact, this plan and these FAR incentivize corporate takeover of housing.

In general, zoning does not regulate ownership.

My neighborhood has literally hundreds of duplexes, triplexes, etc amid single family homes. (BTW It's great.) These units are more affordable by far than the nearby high-rise new rental construction. Some of the residential streets with the largest proportion of affordable units have been rezoned from residential to corridor 4 - this is a serious concern because it threatens to make our neighborhood increasingly unaffordable. Sustainable affordable housing for lower-income residents is a very high priority, especially given the housing crisis. How will these rules help prevent the destruction of these more affordable structures? There are lots of young people living in these units.

The built form policies and regulations are part of a multi-faceted effort to impact the rising cost of housing in Minneapolis. Information on affordable housing production and preservation can be found here.

When was the main foundation of the current zoning code initially adopted? How does that compare to when buildings in Interior areas were built? Do most buildings in Interior areas comply with the zoning, or are they allowed because they are grandfathered in?

The current residential districts were established in 1963 and have been modified over the years incrementally. Many buildings comply with the zoning and others that were established legally are legally nonconforming (grandfathered).

Will 2040 zoning have better minimum standards for architectural merit and aesthetic standards, given the track record of apartment building design built over the past 10 years looking the same, flimsy and lacking contribution to the built environment.

Design standards will be part of a future amendment.

Can we get a copy of the council direction?

https://lims.minneapolismn.gov/File/2018-00770

Why is interior parking square footage not included in the first floor requirement for production space?  When the 2040 allows housing as a “part” of use in the Production space

Parking is not considered a production use.

Will neighbors still be alerted when a property near them requests a variance?

Notification will continue to be sent to property owners within 350 feet of the site requesting a variance.

 

Minneapolis 2040 Policies (Already Adopted)

Where are the record/transcript/minutes of all of these years of public engagement?

All records of public engagement for the Minneapolis 2040 process can be found at https://minneapolis2040.com/planning-process/

we have heard a lot about promoting home ownership, particularly among persons of color.  Why not require owner occupancy of at least some units in duplexes, triplexes, townhomes and condos in lieu of opening up a landlord bonanza?

Given the biggest reason for economic racial disparities is home ownership, why does the plan stop protecting single family homes from redevelopment, the largest amount of housing stock that is available for ownership?

Why does the city not protect home ownership opportuniies given over 90% of the housing built in the last six years is rental - trapping people in a rental treadmill instead of helping people build wealth?

The City does not have the legal authority to broadly require owner occupancy for private development. However, there are programs that the City employs to encourage and sometimes require ownership in developments where the City has direct financial involvement.

What will be done to protect naturally occurring affordable housing?

The built form policies and regulations are part of a multi-faceted effort to impact the rising cost of housing in Minneapolis. Information on affordable housing production and preservation can be found here.

The world of land use is being changed universally by COVID. How has this affected the 2040 plan?

Will any of this planning take into account Covid-19?  It appears the assumption is that the city will continue to grow.  Hopefully so.  But I'm not sure if that is reality. 

The policies in Minneapolis 2040 are not changing as part of this rezoning study, but will be monitored, evaluated, and at times amended over time as conditions warrant.

Why don’t you concentrate housing in a small number of areas so we can build real, functional density instead of upzoning the whole city?

Minneapolis 2040 proposes both approaches to increasing housing choice as outlined and explained in the Access to Housing policy.

Why do you have different rules for parts of the city that are predominantly white, where they have less disruption than parts of the city with more POC?

The majority of development in the City is expected to occur along corridors, at transit stations, and in downtown. Development in the Interior built form districts is intended to be compatible with the existing development scale present in those areas. This approach is outlined in the Access to Housing policy.

Given local transit has declined by 25% over the last six years, 50% more post-covid and no indication of recovering, why do we provide premiums for buildings near transit?

Why did we not choose to concentrate housing to build walkable environments but instead scattering new housing wherever a developer can find a couple lots?

The approach to housing is about meeting different goals in different ways. In some cases, Minneapolis 2040 goals are best served by concentrating development (along corridors, near transit, and in downtown). In other cases, Minneapolis 2040 goals are best served by increasing housing options and diversity of type throughout the City. This approach is outlined in the Access to Housing policy.

Given 85% of travel is by automobile, how do you justify eliminating zoning for automobile repair?

Automobile repair is not proposed for elimination as part of this rezoning study, but will be evaluated as part of a future land use rezoning effort. The intent with prohibiting automobile repair in some parts of the City is to ensure a pedestrian, bicycle, and transit friendly street environment, as outlined in the Pedestrian-Oriented Building and Site Design policy.

Great question by an anonymous poster on why the plan and built form guidance continue to allow more housing near transit. Why doesn't the plan allow the amount of housing in the proposed Corridor X districts everywhere instead of just along noisy, polluted corridors that wealthy homeowners shun? Shouldn't we allow dense housing on leafy, quiet side-streets as well?

Minneapolis 2040 makes clear that multi-family development is allowed off of corridors in addition to directly on them, a condition that was not clear in previous comprehensive plans.

Why do we presume everyone is going to walk and bike and take transit when 20% of the population is under 18, 10% is elderly. 10% are disabled?

Minneapolis 2040 recognizes that if travel patterns do not change, we will not be able to meet greenhouse gas emission and climate change goals. It also acknowledges the existing reality that 20% of households in the City do not have access to an automobile.

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