Take Action: Allow for More Livable Homes on More Lots
Neighbors for More Neighbors organized in support of Minneapolis 2040 because we believe in building enough homes for everyone in our City. Part of the promise of Minneapolis 2040 is now at risk – and we need you to act.
Earlier this month, as part of Minneapolis’ efforts to update its zoning rules to match the development guidelines in Minneapolis 2040, the city announced its first set of proposed zoning changes and began the public comment period for its draft built form regulations. These regulations govern issues such as building height, floor area ratio, lot sizes and setbacks from property lines.
Unfortunately, these draft regulations include barriers to building more homes for more families. Triplexes were identified in Minneapolis 2040 as an affordable way to add accessible family-sized homes. Notably, the proposed regulations limit the FAR (Floor Area Ratio) in a way that will make it difficult to build new triplexes in many parts of the city.
In fact, there are a number of places where the proposed FAR would prohibit buildings that are allowed today. Minneapolis is held up as a national model for zoning reform, and N4MN worked hard to help support Minneapolis 2040 – now it’s time to ensure the reforms live up to the hype, even though the media’s attention has shifted.
For example: on a 5,000 sq. ft. Interior 2 lot, the proposed FAR of 0.5 would only allow 2500 sq. ft. for a new single-family home (SFH), duplex, or triplex. That means 833 sq. ft. per apartment in a triplex – severely limiting the type of homes possible. For many areas, the FAR ratio is actually being reduced from its current state (1.0 – 3.0) to less than half.
How to Help
Using the talking points below, send both your city council member and the city planning department a short email opposing the proposed FAR regulations. We are asking them to increase the proposed FAR in both Interior 2 and Interior 3 zones.
Additionally, share your perspective on the city’s public comment webpage before October 19.
And if you really want to go the extra mile, please consider joining one of the city-led open house discussions and share your opinion directly with city staff and the friends and neighbors in the conversation: 5-6 p.m. Sept. 29, 3-4 p.m. Oct. 7 (focused on downtown).
- Please increase FAR in both Interior 2 and 3 to at least 1.0 or more for ADUs, duplexes and triplexes.
- Minneapolis 2040 promised to add more homes close to transit-rich areas, and correct decades of exclusive zoning that reinforced segregation in our city. The proposed FAR regulations fall short of that goal.
- 3-4 bedroom units in triplexes and ADUs have been identified as a missing piece in the Minneapolis housing puzzle – and adding these homes will continue to be very difficult under the current proposal.
- Current low square footage maximums make small multifamily homes costly, and could prevent more triplexes from being built.
- The proposed FAR regulations render the “triplex anywhere” a shallow promise—essentially codifying near-impossible financial hurdles into city ordinance.
- Families of color are more likely to be multigenerational, with more family members living in a home. Limiting FAR has an acute negative effect on communities of color, intensifying the challenge larger families face finding affordable homes.
Jason Wittenberg (Manager of Code Development, City Planning Department)
Find your city council member here:
Kevin Reich (Northeast, Ward 1)
Cam Gordon (Prospect Park, Ward 2)
Steve Fletcher (Downtown, Ward 3)
Phillipe Cunningham (North, Ward 4)
Jeremiah Ellison (North/West of Downtown, Ward 5)
Jamal Osman (South of Downtown, Ward 6)
Lisa Goodman (West-Mid, Ward 7)
Andrea Jenkins (Along 35W, Ward 8)
Alondra Cano (Central, Ward 9)
Lisa Bender (Lakes Area, Ward 10)
Jeremy Schroeder (South, Ward 11)
Andrew Johnson (Minnehaha Falls Area,Ward 12)
Linea Palmisano (Southwest, Ward 13)
Additional resource: Map of Minneapolis 2040 proposed zoning