More Controversial Regulations Proposed for Tearing Down Homes in Mpls.

Updated: 07/28/2014 10:39 PM By: Beth McDonough

Some Minneapolis homeowners want to tear down their homes and build new. However, it's a contentious issue. 

Just this past spring, a temporary moratorium on teardowns was put in place for five neighborhoods. 

Now, there's a new push in Minneapolis for more changes.

"The changes really do aim for a fair balance between what existing homeowners like me want and what new people who build bigger homes want," said Martha Hewitt, who lives in the Fulton neighborhood. 

However, architect and east Calhoun resident Tim Quigley says, "It’s too extreme, too corrosive, too shortsighted and a gross over-reaction."

They both live in Southwest Minneapolis areas like Linden Hills, Armatage, Fulton, Kenny and Lynnhurst - where half of the city's teardown permits are requested.

So far this year, there have been 94 requests for new home construction in Minneapolis, that's on pace to exceed last year's record of 147 permits. Those numbers prompted city planners to come up with strict new rules.

The proposals heard for the first time at a meeting Monday would reduce the height of a new home to 28 feet, limit the amount of property covered by a structure to 45 percent, define new basement levels, include an attached garage as part of the square footage, allow for larger patio's and storm water management.

"We feel like these regulations proposed get at the worst offenders, homes built way out of scale for neighboring properties," said Jason Wittenberg, who works for Minneapolis Planning and Economic Development.

Wittenberg went on to say, if passed the regulations would apply to the entire city, not just a neighborhood or two. 

The planning commission will forward its recommendations to the full city council, who have the final word at the end of August.