Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan

Parks, Minneapolis Public Schools, Density, Zoning, etc.
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Re: Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan

Postby twincitizen » January 28th, 2020, 2:19 pm

Interesting staff memo going to Planning Commission, regarding when Comp Plan amendments would be required for buildings that exceed the Built Form guidance: https://lims.minneapolismn.gov/download ... 20memo.pdf

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Re: Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan

Postby John21 » September 1st, 2020, 5:15 pm

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Re: Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan

Postby alexschief » September 1st, 2020, 5:35 pm

Just gonna quote Nick at length (emphasis mine):
I will readily admit that much of the controversy in that public discussion stems from some apparent contradictions. On one hand, the Minneapolis 2040 plan would be the most progressive and far-reaching land use plan in America in the modern era. Which sounds dramatic! But the thing is—and we haven’t done a great job of communicating this—these changes will necessarily be very incremental.

That’s it: we want to allow triplexes. There’s no mandate, no City-funded initiative. No one is banning single family houses. Those triplexes would have to be within the building envelope of what’s currently allowed, so where you can currently build a 3,000 square foot single family house, you could build three 1,000 square foot units.

It’s just an option. An option to age in place by subdividing your big, old empty house. Or an option to create more affordable housing units in parts of the city that currently have a $100,000 down-payment toll booth set up at their entrances. Or an option to keep your big, old empty house the same as it’s been for 80 years.

I think it’s extremely useful to reflect on our current zoning. Right now, in Minneapolis, there are thousands of single family houses zoned for something more than single family houses. Check out the map! In neighborhoods across the city, most of the area between 38th Street and Lowry Avenue, in Whittier and Marcy-Holmes and Longfellow, there are houses zoned R2 and higher. Today, there are single family houses on commercial streets like Hennepin Avenue that are zoned for multi-family buildings. There are single family houses inside the downtown freeway loop in Loring Park and Elliot Park.

And our experience has been that not too many of those houses get torn down to build a duplex, or triplex, or apartment building. It happens, but the vast majority of housing units that have been added in the past ten years have been added on vacant lots, surface parking, single story commercial buildings, and the like. The handful of houses that have been demolished for multi-family residential pales in comparison to the number of houses that have been torn down for larger, more expensive single family houses.
A bit of a bummer, but no surprise at all to see the low number of triplexes, especially with the pandemic and economic crash coming so soon after triplexes were actually legalized in January. The lack of FAR bonuses for duplexes and triplexes is a problem that came baked in with the politics of passing the plan. The good news is that city staff is proposing some FAR bonuses in the Interior 3 zone. That's the minimum in the area between Hiawatha, Hennepin, Lake, and I-94. Marcy Holmes and St. Anthony south of Broadway are also Interior 3. Hopefully in future iterations, the comp plan can be amended to expand the Interior 3 zone.

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Re: Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan

Postby alexschief » September 4th, 2020, 9:26 am

Public comment is now open for the Minneapolis 2040 Built Form Regulations that will be enacted later this year. You can review them and give comments here: https://minneapolis2040.com/implementat ... egulations

I think there are two changes that I'd make to the section on density bonuses. (If you agree, be sure to submit a comment to CPED)

1. In Transit 30 and Core 50 districts, there is currently a premium for skyways. I would eliminate that premium. Whether you think skyways are good or bad, it is a fact that developers are often compelled to build them by their tenants. There is no reason to believe that the city needs to provide an incentive for their construction. Providing this premium makes it less likely that a developer will use a different premium. I hope CPED strikes the premium for skyways entirely.

2. A FAR premium is currently offered for enclosed parking. I would like to see a FAR premium added for buildings with no parking or limited parking. For instance, a premium could be granted for buildings between 20-50 units with no parking, and buildings with 50+ units that have a parking ratio below 0.25. I know the city is working on changes to the TDM policy that bear on this, but I think this might be a relevant spot for changes to reduce VMT as well.

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Re: Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan

Postby Silophant » September 18th, 2020, 9:22 am

Those are good ideas. To replace the skyway premium, I'd like to see a premium for connecting to district energy systems instead - they're significantly more efficient than individual systems, easier to decarbonize, and I think there will need to be a regulatory push to get the downtown system extended into the new Root District (and to get the proposed Prospect Park system off the ground). Probably wouldn't be enough to get new systems created in the other Transit 30 areas like West Lake and Old St Anthony, but it couldn't hurt either.

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Re: Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan

Postby Bob Stinson's Ghost » September 18th, 2020, 9:28 pm

I've often wondered about the economics of building parking space in an apartment building. Is the ROIC greater on a square foot of leasable apartment or a square foot of parking? When developers vigorously pat themselves on the back for building less parking are they really just congratulating themselves for building a more profitable project? Do they really need a premium to encourage this?

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Re: Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan

Postby alexschief » November 10th, 2020, 12:35 pm

Last night, the Minneapolis Planning Commission met in a unique special meeting to consider implementation of the 2040 Plan's recommendations for built form. To be clear: this is different than land use, which will be addressed next year.

Before the meeting pretty wide-ranging coalition of groups sent the Planning Commission a letter advocating for detailed changes to the built form recommendations. The coalition includes not just Neighbors for More Neighbors, but also developers and builders like Aeon and Habitat, renters and homeless advocates like IX Unidos and Align Minneapolis, environmental advocates like the Sierra Club, and a handful of other groups in between. The general thrust of the recommendations is that the proposed rules for the Interior 1, 2, and 3, districts, especially the first two, are too restrictive, and will essentially foreclose the construction of duplexes and triplexes that are now allowed in the zoning. It is not enough to legalize these types of buildings if other regulations make them infeasible to build.

The Planning Commission didn't address all of these criticisms, but the proposed regulations did take a big step forward. The base FAR for the Interior districts was revised upward, especially for triplexes. The built form premium (you can build larger if you meet certain conditions) was doubled for projects that include housing available at 30% AMI. A handful of premiums that didn't make sense (skyways), or are best addressed elsewhere in the code (enclosed parking) were eliminated. The minimum lot size was reduced slightly, and a rule that keeps lot sizes large in wealthy areas was removed.

There are still some missing pieces. A proposed premium for family-sized housing near schools was rejected. A doubling of the bonus for grocery stores was also rejected. The minimum lot sizes are still larger than I think they should be. Finally, the affordability bonus was not extended for Interior 1 and 2 districts. Next up, the City Council will take up the issue, first in committee, then at the full council. I suspect that several of these issues will receive more attention (for instance, I think the affordability bonus will be extended to I1 and I2 there). I would like to see base FAR in the interior districts further increased by a bit, especially for duplexes. I'd like to see the minimum lot size decreased further. We'll see.

But the main takeaway is that the proposed rules have gotten better, and there's a strong coalition of organizations who will continue to advocate for them to continue to improve.

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Re: Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan

Postby Austinite » November 10th, 2020, 3:06 pm

General question - do we know if the city is loosening up on minimum lot size requirements for developments? There was an article in Streets on this issue that prevents in-fill in neighborhoods where certain lots can't be developed because of this...doesn't make sense since obviously there used to be some type of structure on these open, undeveloped lots in the past - i.e. in North Mpls.

Also - this may be something that has previously been brought up, so sorry if repetitive, but a major issue with the new guidelines requiring multistory buildings in areas that were one story, etc. - it basically prevents individuals/smaller developers from coming in and gears developments towards the big developers - again - loss of community ownership, uniqueness....

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Re: Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan

Postby MNdible » November 11th, 2020, 12:07 pm

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