Minneapolis Sets Radical Housing and Climate Example; Hidalgo Looking to Streamline Emergency Response Systems

Photo of Westside Tennis Club: elnina via Swamplot Flickr Pool


4 Comment

  • Killen’s is good, but it is definitely NOT worth the price. (Yes, I have eaten there)

  • So…the LA Times thinks that Minneapolis is “the most radically pro-housing, anti-climate-change city in the nation” on the basis that it will “eliminate single-family zoning and instead allow duplexes and triplexes to be built on lots now reserved for one house.”
    No action was taken to facilitate the development of large multifamily properties, which is far more consequential.
    By the logic of the LA Times, both Houston and Pasadena, each of them the largest municipalities in the United States without zoning (combined 2.5 million people on 644 sq. mi.) blow Minneapolis (population 442,331 on 55 sq. mi.) totally and completely out of the water. And this is besides the point given the over two million more people that live in Houston’s unincorporated ETJ, which is also unzoned.
    If we assume that no zoning, meaning there’s no historical legacy of it and no wrangling or side-stepping of the issue at all, is five times more impactful than some minor zoning change affecting only legacy single-family properties, if we consider the differences in scope in terms of its ten times more land area and population, and if we consider the pace at which Houston is growing by contrast to Minneapolis and the amount of both urban and greenfield land available to it that is impacted by a lack of zoning…I don’t really think that it is a stretch to say that Houston is 100x more “radically pro-housing and anti-climate-change” by LA Times’ standards than Minneapolis is. Houston is radical. Minneapolis is milquetoast.
    Meanwhile, left unmentioned anywhere in that article, is the real underlying problem that smacks any reasonable observer squarely in their ugly face: the legacy of an entire century of deed restrictions.

  • @The Niche …. it is obviously a liberal media plot to discredit Houston from it’s rightful place (sarcasm)

  • @Niche,
    You’re right that deed restrictions (and historic districts) do much the same work of limiting density in Houston that single-family zoning does in the rest of the country. As a result, we see a mix of large multi-family buildings (100+ 1- and 2-BR units) and single-family of varying density (McMansions to townhouses), and not much in between. New 4-plexes are exceedingly rare.
    The city is only now unwinding the ill effects of minimum lot sizes and and an effective ban on multifamily construction inside the loop for much of the 20th century. (The effects of parking minimums and setbacks can still be seen.)
    What MPLS has done is consistent with the philosophy that no neighborhood should experience radical change, but no neighborhood should be immune from change. Gradual upzoning of the entire city is more likely to be successful in the long run than radical upzoning of isolated pockets of the city.