POLL: Do Neighbors Block Good Developments?
MinnPost columnist claims "'Stop' may be Minneapolis’ secret mantra."
In the wake of the Minneapolis City Council's rejection of a waiver for a proposed 60-unit development in Linden Hills that left the developer warning that the vote "should be very troubling to all business interests in Minneapolis," one MinnPost columnist contends that Minneapolis' neighborhoods have a culture of "no" when it comes to any kind of change to the built environment.
Marlys Harris, who covers development issues for the online newspaper, writes:
Nobody wants (to substitute ugly hi-rises and freeways for current neighborhoods). But it seems as though right now, we can't even put up a modest apartment building or a store without requiring developers to rejigger plans 17 times and jump through a batch of political hoops only to fall on their faces at the end. The result is that we are choking off our own growth from the inside.
The roadblocks to "getting things done," she claims based on interviews with developers, planners, land use experts, seem to amount to three points:
- People approach a new development with a negative attitude from the outset.
- Neighborhoods insist on things the economics of development can't support, like low-rise buildings on high-value land.
- The Minneapolis zoning code is too rigid, and doesn't reflect "what the city wants built" in an area.
What do you think? After watching Linden Corner, 4525 France, the Tangletown Apartments, and 3535 Grand work their way through neighborhood organizations, the City Planning Commission, and the City Council, do you think Harris is right?