Opposition to New Development

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FISHMANPET
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Opposition to New Development

Postby FISHMANPET » March 17th, 2014, 12:05 am

I was going to title this thread NIMBYs but decided against it...

San Francisco seems to be brought up on both sides of the debate. On one side of how new development causes high prices (which I find laughable since there's so little new development), and on the other how San Francisco's constrained supply leads to increased prices (the much more reasonable conclusion). So an interesting article about someone's reaction to opposition to a new hospital: http://www.sfgate.com/living/article/Ti ... 298303.php

And another article, to prove I'm not a heartless monster or something, discussing some design standards of mid rise buildings in Toronto: http://www.planetizen.com/node/67761

I think there's a difference between neighborhood opposition and people that just hate change. If your approach to a new development is a list of complaints with a call to stop it, then there's no hope reaching you. If you just come with a list of concerns then maybe a developer can work with the neighborhood to improve the project.

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Re: Opposition to new Development

Postby mplsjaromir » March 17th, 2014, 7:43 am

I recently read a very interesting book titled American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America and it got me thinking about the pro/anti development conversation happening in Minneapolis.

My belief is that in keeping with that traditions of the area's Yankee settlers, widespread political participation is not only encouraged, but almost demanded from the populace. Today people see nothing out of the ordinary to attend neighborhood meetings to discuss the implications of a development. Direct democratic participation is a civic value passed down by those who came to area from Massachusetts, Upstate New York and all New England.

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The desire to weigh in on local issues is likely proportional to voter turnout.

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As most are aware Minnesota consistently ranks first in voter turnout.

I really like the (relatively) high level of participation in politics by ordinary people that happens in this state. If heightened anti development sentiment is a byproduct, so be it.

Another Yankee tradition should be considered. The messianic zeal to improve society. Many on this site feel that reshaping the urban realm to a scale that supports high quality urban amenities will be a transformation for good (I am one of them). Others have a zeal to preserve a history and heritage that they feel is being lost, blocking short term profit seekers to ensure that some semblance of the past remains. Neither group is wrong.

There is also the "No Change Is Always Better" group. Also the Large Building Club™ that is favor of height and size no matter the context to the urban realm, they are generally wrong.

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Re: Opposition to new Development

Postby RailBaronYarr » March 17th, 2014, 8:42 am

https://streets.mn/2014/03/17/combating- ... -hysteria/

I'll just comment here: despite the fact that I'm probably somewhere between "neutral" and "Large Building Club," I agree with most of what Nick is saying. I'm aware the pounding sand on comments sections of articles, and swinging to far in opposition of the opposition to let things fly that may not be best in context to surrounding neighbors* isn't particularly helpful in today's political realities. (*with that said, I still think 5-10 years down the road, today's monstrosities or out of context buildings may seem natural and negative effects likely forgotten or outweighed by positives).

What I will say about the seeming lack of declined projects in this town is that we don't know what we haven't seen proposed. How many projects would or could have gone through with a lighter code, and even moreso without the state continuing to open up fertile land for new housing on the fringes? Obviously the latter isn't something Minneapolis can directly control, but I don't see our level of (fairly high, by national comparison) demand for close-in, urban living as a fixed number, but variable based on other policies across the housing and transportation market. 8,450 units and likely ~12,675 people since 2010 is a lot, to be sure, but it's still only 4,200/year, a pace which would mean 24 years before we'd scratch 500k (if you care about that sort of thing). So it is frustrating when a legitimately good project (e. Colfax, Frank/Lyn) with perhaps a few sub-optimal design elements receive such backlash for variety of reasons, whilst exurbs continue to grow at faster paces in larger total numbers (which is a bad thing). Ok, all of this is not a surprise to anyone here, so I'll definitely make it my 3 month-too-late NY resolution to tone it down a bit.

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Re: Opposition to new Development

Postby twincitizen » May 9th, 2014, 1:10 pm

Developers express frustration with neighborhood process:
http://www.startribune.com/local/blogs/258655761.html

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Opposition to new Development

Postby FISHMANPET » May 9th, 2014, 1:19 pm

Genius, and it's going to make some people foam at the mouth. I'd love to see it be easier for smaller projects to happen. And also for there to be a "higher power" that can step in to a community meeting for something like the Franklin-Lyndale and say "these are the reasons a project like this benefits the city" or something like that.

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Re: Opposition to new Development

Postby EOst » May 9th, 2014, 1:39 pm

FISHMANPET wrote:On one side of how new development causes high prices (which I find laughable since there's so little new development)
The trouble for cities like San Francisco (and also NYC, London, and other very high-demand cities) is that much (in some cases almost all) of the new development isn't actually going toward alleviating the housing crisis in the city, but to create super-high-priced condos where the global rich can park money. If someone demolishes a block of admittedly way overpriced San Francisco lower density apartment buildings to build a tall new development, it's not hard to imagine a situation where you end up with a building with fewer actually inhabited units than there were before. That doesn't really help anyone except the developers.

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Re: Opposition to new Development

Postby mattaudio » May 9th, 2014, 1:57 pm

Other than Manhattan, Miami, London, and a few SFO neighborhoods, is that really happening? In Mpls at least, net new units actually bring in net new residents.

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Re: Opposition to new Development

Postby FISHMANPET » May 9th, 2014, 2:07 pm

Global playgrounds like SF and NYC and London need some kind of intervention to increase supply of more reasonable housing, but the solution is still to build more housing. Miami doesn't seem to be constrained like other global cities, or at least I hear about a lot of luxury condos going up that are dumping grounds for global money, but I don't here the otherside of normal people being priced out.

But here in Minneapolis new development is bringing in new residents.

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Re: Opposition to new Development

Postby mplsjaromir » May 9th, 2014, 2:42 pm

One would be hard pressed to actually present evidence that new high rise development is lower density than what is being replaced. It a myth perpetuated by neighborhood activists. Even the epicenter of oligarch condo buildings, 59th street in Manhattan you will not find a building where the majority of the units are owned by non-residents. Every tower built on 59th has a greater density of residents than what was replaced. Not to mention that increased property values which leads to greater tax receipts. I welcome private development, it will not solve the affordable housing problem on it own, but on net every unit helps.

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Re: Opposition to new Development

Postby EOst » May 9th, 2014, 6:01 pm

mattaudio wrote:Other than Manhattan, Miami, London, and a few SFO neighborhoods, is that really happening? In Mpls at least, net new units actually bring in net new residents.
In Minneapolis? Probably not to an extent that's actually worth mentioning. But it is a big deal in NYC, SFO, etc. which is why we shouldn't write off people in those cities as just NIMBYs.
FISHMANPET wrote:Global playgrounds like SF and NYC and London need some kind of intervention to increase supply of more reasonable housing, but the solution is still to build more housing.
Agreed, but that sort of intervention isn't really on the table at the moment (except maybe in NYC, a little bit) so that's why people are protesting. Or, at least, why many of them are protesting; definitely some of them just don't like change.
FISHMANPET wrote:Miami doesn't seem to be constrained like other global cities, or at least I hear about a lot of luxury condos going up that are dumping grounds for global money, but I don't here the otherside of normal people being priced out.

But here in Minneapolis new development is bringing in new residents.
No argument there.
mplsjaromir wrote:One would be hard pressed to actually present evidence that new high rise development is lower density than what is being replaced. It a myth perpetuated by neighborhood activists. Even the epicenter of oligarch condo buildings, 59th street in Manhattan you will not find a building where the majority of the units are owned by non-residents. Every tower built on 59th has a greater density of residents than what was replaced. Not to mention that increased property values which leads to greater tax receipts. I welcome private development, it will not solve the affordable housing problem on it own, but on net every unit helps.
You really don't have to look very hard. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/12/nyreg ... .html?_r=0

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Re: Opposition to new Development

Postby mplsjaromir » May 9th, 2014, 6:06 pm

Notice how zero data was presented. Anecdotal evidence at best.

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Re: Opposition to new Development

Postby EOst » May 9th, 2014, 8:59 pm

mplsjaromir wrote:Notice how zero data was presented. Anecdotal evidence at best.
What actual data would you expect? Which management companies do you honestly expect would ever release that kind of data?

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Re: Opposition to new Development

Postby Anondson » May 10th, 2014, 7:33 am

I specifically moved to a neighborhood that wasn't strapped with an HOA. Seems like certain neighborhoods have been burdened with neighborhood groups that are taking for themselves some problematic aspects of HOA boards. But with even less accountability.

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Re: Opposition to new Development

Postby mplsjaromir » May 10th, 2014, 11:14 pm

I'm going to parrot a talking point of @MarketUrbanism: People will believe anything when it comes to unoccupied apartments and oligarchs, no matter how ludicrous. Even NYT writers, apparently.

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Re: Opposition to new Development

Postby EOst » May 11th, 2014, 10:59 am

mplsjaromir wrote:I'm going to parrot a talking point of @MarketUrbanism: People will believe anything when it comes to unoccupied apartments and oligarchs, no matter how ludicrous. Even NYT writers, apparently.
Yeah, show me a major newspaper saying these places are actually inhabited and we can talk.

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Re: Opposition to new Development

Postby mplsjaromir » May 12th, 2014, 3:03 pm

Widespread unoccupied apartments are a myth, a red herring.

According to this article NYT Manhattan, which is a magnet for absentee condo owners, only 2.1% of housing units are not occupied year round. If the city added housing at a rate equal to the rest of the country the percentage would likely be smaller.

Opposing development because it just turns into unoccupied vacation homes is like saying that wind farms are actually environmentally harmful because birds get killed by the rotating vanes.

By definition the global rich are a small group. Do people not realize that Sand Francisco is not actually a world city with lots of pied-à-terre demand?

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Re: Opposition to new Development

Postby EOst » May 13th, 2014, 6:30 am

mplsjaromir wrote:Widespread unoccupied apartments are a myth, a red herring.

According to this article NYT Manhattan, which is a magnet for absentee condo owners, only 2.1% of housing units are not occupied year round. If the city added housing at a rate equal to the rest of the country the percentage would likely be smaller.
Manhattan has 841,000 housing units. A 2.1% rate would still be nearly 18,000 units.

The city can't add at the same rate as the rest of the country because the rest of the country, unlike Manhattan/NYC in general, has tons of underutilized or open land. That's not true in Manhattan, which makes development costs very high.
mplsjaromir wrote:Opposing development because it just turns into unoccupied vacation homes is like saying that wind farms are actually environmentally harmful because birds get killed by the rotating vanes.

By definition the global rich are a small group. Do people not realize that Sand Francisco is not actually a world city with lots of pied-à-terre demand?
They're a small group who have the resources to massively and deleteriously distort any housing market they enter.

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Re: Opposition to new Development

Postby mplsjaromir » May 13th, 2014, 5:17 pm

Other world cities like London and Tokyo add housing at higher rates than NYC it would be possible to add more housing than what is currently happening.

I do agree that when a only small amount of housing is allowed the those who end up possessing it will be the rich and powerful. The better option would be to allow more development not less. Restricting supply raises prices, the rich are going to have the first choice in housing unless there is drastic change to how housing is allocated. Allow enough to sate the high end customer and then even more for middle and lower income customer. A more accommodating approach will allow desirable cities to have more affordable housing.

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Re: Opposition to new Development

Postby FISHMANPET » May 14th, 2014, 11:31 am

Some thoughts from someone and gaining support for projects:
http://www.publicceo.com/2014/05/in-san ... onverging/

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Re: Opposition to new Development

Postby EOst » May 14th, 2014, 11:54 am

mplsjaromir wrote:Other world cities like London and Tokyo add housing at higher rates than NYC it would be possible to add more housing than what is currently happening.

I do agree that when a only small amount of housing is allowed the those who end up possessing it will be the rich and powerful. The better option would be to allow more development not less. Restricting supply raises prices, the rich are going to have the first choice in housing unless there is drastic change to how housing is allocated. Allow enough to sate the high end customer and then even more for middle and lower income customer. A more accommodating approach will allow desirable cities to have more affordable housing.
London and Tokyo are both undergoing the same problems as NYC and SF. Manhattan has very little room left to build on; that's why they're capping railyards and talking about landfill in the rivers. But aside from demolishing Greenwich Village, there isn't a ton of land left to build on there.

The solution isn't just more housing, it's more housing where developers are required to build affordable housing as well as condos for the super-elite. NYC already does this, but nowhere near enough.


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