In the current zoning it doesn't appear that a duplex can be built or re-built
without a variance on the 10,000 sq. ft. land requirement. Variances are being
given now to get around this requirement so it isn't like we are really
stopping anyone who wants to build a new duplex.
The new change to R2b reduces the sq. footage required from 10,000 to 6,000.
That seems like an odd lot size since the majority of lots in Minneapolis are
5,000 sq. ft.
Being able to build a new duplex provides an opportunity for families who may
not be able to purchase single family homes because of the high price of real
estate these days a chance to own a home and get help with the mortgage
payments from the rent on the second unit.
The neighborhoods of the 6th ward are already very dense. Stevens Square is
95% rental. Whittier is 87% rental, Ventura Village is 87% rental and Phillips
West is 79% rental. I don't hear people here complaining about the density. I
hear people complaining about not being able to afford to buy property in these
neighborhoods any longer. Some feel they have been frozen out of the
Minneapolis market and even homeownership entirely because of the high cost of
real estate these days.
As I said, the city is already giving variances to people who want to build
new duplexes anyway. I somehow don't think there will be a mass rush on city
hall to apply for permits to build new duplexes if the square footage
requirement is dropped to 6,000 sq. ft. instead of 10,000. But then I am not as
fimiliar with the landscape of our sister neighborhoods of Southeast Como,
Marcy Holmes or Prospect Park for that matter.
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