Uptown moratorium enacted

The Minneapolis City Council approved a six-month moratorium Sept. 22 restricting the height of buildings constructed within the Uptown Small Area Plan boundaries.

The city's Zoning and Planning Committee approved it days later.

Councilmember Ralph Remington (10th Ward) introduced the moratorium, which requires developers to build no higher than the city's zoning code allows.

The moratorium went into effect immediately after the Council vote.

Gary Schiff (9th Ward) was the only councilmember to vote against the moratorium. Schiff said later that he didn't have enough information before the vote, but his concerns turned out to be unfounded.

Remington said he introduced the moratorium to slow Uptown development during the creation of the Uptown Small Area Plan, a 20-year land-use plan for the area.

A steering committee made up of Southwest community members and representatives from local business associations began working on the plan in June. It is supposed to take 12-18 months to complete.

Developers and community members have had mixed thoughts about the construction restrictions. Supporters have said the moratorium will allow the small area plan to be taken more seriously. Those who oppose it argue the restrictions could keep developers out of Uptown.

The moratorium will be reviewed after six months, and it could be extended, Remington said.

For more information on the Uptown Small Area Plan including a map of boundaries, go to www.ci.mpls.mn.us/citywork/planning/uptown-plan.asp.