City Council votes to lift teardown moratorium

The City Council voted to lift the one-year moratorium on teardowns and new residential construction in several southwest Minneapolis neighborhoods this morning.

The interim moratorium was approved by the Council on March 7 after Council Member Linea Palmisano introduced it to get a handle on the sharp increase in teardown projects in Ward 13. The moratorium applied to Armatage, Fulton, Kenny, Linden Hills and Lynnhurst.

The Council also approved a provision requiring builders to agree to a new construction management agreement designed to ensure better construction site management throughout the city, directed staff to find additional resources to step up enforcement of residential construction sites and study the growth in residential construction and make recommendations for policy changes. 

The teardown moratorium has been a divisive issue, but the compromise plan has been commended by stakeholders involved in crafting it, including builders, Realtors and others who were initially critical of Palmisano’s approach to dealing with the problems at construction sites. 

At the April 3 Zoning and Planning Committee hearing, Palmisano said the policy changes will help protect the environment. 

“This is something that reflects our values from southwest Minneapolis, which are strongly about achieving a zero waste city and strongly about investing in our housing stock, but doing so in an environmentally sensitive way and one that sets us up for the future in the single-family home environment,” she said.

The Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors (MAAR) issued a statement following this morning’s vote. Here’s an excerpt: “MAAR will continue to work with the city throughout the upcoming months on redevelopment policies, including a thorough examination of local housing market trends, existing and potential zoning codes, and building standards. The partnerships that have been forged throughout this process between city residents, housing industry leaders, and city officials should prove to greatly benefit all stakeholders engaged in housing and growth issues in Minneapolis.”