Southwest Minneapolis Teardown Moratorium

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garfield
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Southwest Minneapolis Teardown Moratorium

Postby garfield » March 10th, 2014, 10:25 pm

I am surprised this hasn't been posted yet:

http://www.startribune.com/local/minnea ... 89251.html

I hadn't heard of this even being a possibility before the moratorium was instituted last Friday. Councilperson Palmisano indicates that every project has met zoning and code criteria, but she is looking to protect neighbors from construction noise and traffic, in addition to the old "Monster House" argument from Edina. This moratorium seems drastic and sudden, and hopefully the council revisits after committee meetings and overturns the complete moratorium and perhaps comes up with some less drastic measure to alleviate the neighborhoods' concerns.

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Re: Southwest Minneapolis Teardown Moratorium

Postby David Greene » March 11th, 2014, 10:55 am

I find the "Monster House" argument quite compelling.

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Re: Southwest Minneapolis Teardown Moratorium

Postby RailBaronYarr » March 11th, 2014, 1:02 pm

I'm sure absolutely no one will be surprised, but I find it mostly un-compelling. For starters, it seems like most people are finding just about anything to complain about.

- If it's not the massing of the house, it's that they're cheaply made or ugly. On cheapness, I would agree they aren't made with old-growth timber and might not stand for 200+ years, but they'll last longer than the < 30 people continue to predict. Besides, aren't there plenty of old homes preservationists love that have giant foundations, high lot coverage, and 2.5 stories?
- When it's the massing of the houses, it comes back to an argument of "neighborhood character" (which the City itself tries to define and protect for some reason: http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/www/gro ... 253798.pdf ) While the environmentalist in me is 100% on board that tearing down one SFH for a bigger one that will likely house no more people is a bad idea, this frustrates me because a large scale structure like these new SFHs could just as easily be a 3-4 story apartment or set of row homes that *do* house 2-4x the number of people. And they'd have the same massing. So I want to be sympathetic to new construction that has more "mass" than existing form, even if I don't particularly agree with SFH->SFH teardowns. Besides, there are plenty of traditional character homes in Minneapolis that abut 3-4 story apartment buildings *right now.* How do they survive?
- Loud noises. I'm not here to say loud noises aren't a nuisance. But they're also temporary and only during daylight hours that most people are awake (and/or at work) anyway. If noise, construction equipment, loading/unloading, etc aren't regulated enough, how do we ever plan on growing the city incrementally in other ways? Only on old industrial land not near any residents?..

The whole thing goes to show how messed up our zoning is - if these are causing issues, even though they require zero to few variances, wth? I have no argument to the point that new construction is indeed changing neighborhood character (height, lot coverage, etc). Aside from curb cuts allowing front-facing garages (that create pedestrian conflict points and reduce on-street parking capacity), can anyone provide reasons for why a change in character is something we need to prevent in the first place? Minneapolis' presentation did a good job describing everything except why it's bad.

Cheekily.. does Minneapolis limit it's right of way area to 65% hard cover or less?

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Re: Southwest Minneapolis Teardown Moratorium

Postby David Greene » March 11th, 2014, 3:26 pm

I was only talking about SFH -> SFH teardowns. I absolutely agree that multifamily housing would be an impovement.

My concern is that these teardowns actually decrease density from an environmental standpoint. You get worse runoff problems, natural resource usage, etc. for the same number of people living there.

And there is something to the aesthetics of a huge house next to a bungalow. It does in fact look totally out of place, while an apartment building would fit in better.

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Re: Southwest Minneapolis Teardown Moratorium

Postby Tcmetro » March 11th, 2014, 4:20 pm

I honestly think that the teardowns aren't really that bad. They are keeping wealthy people in the city who would instead leave to the western suburbs. Also, if they fit the zoning code than there really isn't an issue. Just neighbors unhappy about someone with a bigger house.

As for multifamily, we really do need some changes in the zoning to support larger buildings along France, Xerxes, Penn, Lyndale, 50th, etc. These streets already have major bus lines that are underutilized. Perhaps 3-5 story buildings should be allowed?

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Re: Southwest Minneapolis Teardown Moratorium

Postby mattaudio » March 11th, 2014, 4:24 pm

Anti-moritorium petition...

http://www.nomoratorium.com/

featuring the flatone responsive theme. of course the southwest contingent would pay $35 for a theme.

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Re: Southwest Minneapolis Teardown Moratorium

Postby FISHMANPET » March 11th, 2014, 5:10 pm

I think on the whole I'm against the idea of a moratorium, but that website has my NIMBY leg twitching because it feels like they're using all the same tactics, which makes me want to support the moratorium out of rhetorical principal.
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FISHMANPET
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Re: Southwest Minneapolis Teardown Moratorium

Postby FISHMANPET » March 11th, 2014, 5:12 pm

Also, I'm pretty surprised that the city can just enact a moratorium until it decides if it's going to actually enact a moratorium or not. Very strange.
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twincitizen
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Re: Southwest Minneapolis Teardown Moratorium

Postby twincitizen » March 11th, 2014, 7:12 pm

Let's be honest: a group of realtors/builders probably just had that website ready and waiting to go.

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Re: Southwest Minneapolis Teardown Moratorium

Postby David Greene » March 11th, 2014, 8:10 pm

mattaudio wrote:Anti-moritorium petition...

http://www.nomoratorium.com/

featuring the flatone responsive theme. of course the southwest contingent would pay $35 for a theme.
I hate political sites that don't disclose who is behind them. It's cowardly.

garfield
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Re: Southwest Minneapolis Teardown Moratorium

Postby garfield » March 11th, 2014, 8:45 pm

I don't think a builder/Realtor had that site at the ready...this really did blindside everyone. Realtors have been scrambling to get ahead of this (they sent out a mass email yesterday to inform everyone of the moratorium and what they hope to do to overturn/amend it). I have spoken to a couple of builders since Friday that are quite shocked and dismayed. The speed at which this was brought up and passed with a 13-0 vote makes many people think that Mayor Hodges is really behind this...it is her old 'hood. I heard someone say it is "her baby."

I think that this was a very bad move by Councilperson Palmisano. This is something that could really hurt a lot of people...and the way it was brought forward is going to make it hard for many people to trust her in the future. This was not transparent at all - and I realize that it can (and should) be overturned in a little over a week - and might make people that want to invest in the city think twice. There are so many reasons that I think this was a bad route to take, and I hope that the Council revisits this and tries to do it the right way.

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Re: Southwest Minneapolis Teardown Moratorium

Postby mattaudio » March 11th, 2014, 10:29 pm

**trying to recall which CMs got realtor superpac mailers on their behalf**

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Re: Southwest Minneapolis Teardown Moratorium

Postby lordmoke » March 11th, 2014, 11:29 pm

mattaudio wrote:**trying to recall which CMs got realtor superpac mailers on their behalf**
Cano got mail sent out from the National Association of Realtors, but I think that had more to do with the fact that her opponent was part of Occupy Homes, which I'm sure the NAR loves. We'll see.

I like the moratorium. Tearing down a functional single family home to build another single family home is the epitome of waste. If you don't want the house, buy a different one. Or better yet, find an empty lot. I can see a number of them in SW Mpls on Google maps.

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Re: Southwest Minneapolis Teardown Moratorium

Postby alleycat » March 12th, 2014, 12:04 am

I find it hilarious that the same city that tears down any home with a bit of mold in North like it's a pastime has the gall to enact such a moratorium. One Minneapolis...
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garfield
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Re: Southwest Minneapolis Teardown Moratorium

Postby garfield » March 12th, 2014, 6:29 am

The City also agreed to tear down a perfectly good 30-year-old stadium and then gave a billionaire $150 million of its residents money in order to build a shiny new one. But if a family of five wants to replace a 900 square foot tearddown with no useful life remaining in order to build a new house to suit their family's needs (paying for all of this themselves, of course), the City says they can't do it.

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Re: Southwest Minneapolis Teardown Moratorium

Postby Silophant » March 12th, 2014, 6:51 am

Thanks Garfield! It had been weeks since anyone started bitching about the stadium in an unrelated thread. I had been worried people had forgotten about it.

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Re: Southwest Minneapolis Teardown Moratorium

Postby mattaudio » March 12th, 2014, 10:20 am

The comparison was apropos and added context to this moratorium. Thanks, Garfield.

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Re: Southwest Minneapolis Teardown Moratorium

Postby mattaudio » March 12th, 2014, 10:23 am

lordmoke wrote:Cano got mail sent out from the National Association of Realtors
IIRC, Frey also got them.

Regarding the moratorium, I think it was awful how this was backhanded without any warning or input. This could have impacted somebody's property value or pending six-figure investment with the flip of a hidden switch. And these are mostly families impacted, not developers or businesses. While reserving judgment on the moratorium itself, the way this was done was harmful.

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Re: Southwest Minneapolis Teardown Moratorium

Postby twincitizen » March 12th, 2014, 10:36 am

This "surprise" moratorium reminds me of when Meg Tuthill introduced ordinances to ban rooftop patios in Uptown a few summers ago.

She tried to bring bar owners and neighbors together to figure out a solution to the noise problem. It was a key issue to some of her constituents. Bar owners didn't care much and ignored complaints. She introduced a "surprise ordinance" and it brought everyone to the table to hash out a solution. It pissed a lot of people off and her ordinance was ultimately shelved, but the noise problem was largely solved (to my knowledge, and to the extent that bar-noise in Uptown can be mitigated).


I don't think CM Palmisano's actual intent here is to have a moratorium on teardowns for an entire year. People have been raising concerns about the monster house thing and bad behavior of construction crews, etc. for a while now. It was a key issue in the Ward 13 contest. Introducing a "surprise" ordinance gets everyone's attention and brings them to the table to work out a solution. CM Palmisano is pro-growth, pro-density and she ran on that. I hardly think she aims to freeze SW Minneapolis in amber.

I think people are overreacting and we need to wait and see what moves the council makes in the next few weeks.

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Re: Southwest Minneapolis Teardown Moratorium

Postby kbee » March 12th, 2014, 11:33 am

She tried to bring bar owners and neighbors together to figure out a solution to the noise problem. It was a key issue to some of her constituents. Bar owners didn't care much and ignored complaints. She introduced a "surprise ordinance" and it brought everyone to the table to hash out a solution. It pissed a lot of people off and her ordinance was ultimately shelved, but the noise problem was largely solved (to my knowledge, and to the extent that bar-noise in Uptown can be mitigated).
And she was voted out of office after one term, with that incident used by the Lisa Bender campaign as a prime example of Tuthill's curmudeonliness and inability to respectfully and effectively bring different stakeholders together, which it was.


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