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Re: Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan

Posted: January 28th, 2020, 2:19 pm
by twincitizen
Interesting staff memo going to Planning Commission, regarding when Comp Plan amendments would be required for buildings that exceed the Built Form guidance: ... 20memo.pdf

Re: Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan

Posted: September 1st, 2020, 5:15 pm
by John21

Re: Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan

Posted: September 1st, 2020, 5:35 pm
by alexschief
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.

Re: Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan

Posted: September 4th, 2020, 9:26 am
by alexschief
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: ... 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.

Re: Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan

Posted: September 18th, 2020, 9:22 am
by Silophant
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.

Re: Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan

Posted: September 18th, 2020, 9:28 pm
by Bob Stinson's Ghost
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?