Council puts a halt on Linden Hills development

The City Council today unanimously passed a moratorium on “large-scale” developments in Linden Hills in order to give time for Council Member Betsy Hodges’ office to put together a group that will create a small area plan for the neighborhood.

The moratorium restricts developers from applying for conditional use permits to build higher than what is entitled in the zoning code.

It covers the 43rd and Uptown business node, the 44th and France business node and the corridor in between.

The moratorium comes a few weeks after the City Council denied developer Mark Dwyer’s attempt to construct a five-level mixed-use building at the site of Famous Dave’s.

Another large development has already been proposed for the area. Sunnyside Flats is a five-level, 68-unit development project at 45th and France. That project, according to Hodges’ office, had already submitted its application before the moratorium was put in place.

Ben Hecker, the policy aide for Hodges, said the council member’s office hopes to work with stakeholders for the next roughly 12 months to complete the small area plan and end the moratorium.

Uptown, for instance, has a small area plan. It’s not the law, but the Uptown Small Area Plan gives guidelines for land use, including building height. That plan took two years to finalize.

Robert Lilligren, after voting for the moratorium, said he supported small area planning, but also cautioned that he expects density to spread about the city.

“I would just like to remind us that we do have growth goals and projections for both the city and the region and these small area plans I think need to be reflective of those goals.”