'Teardown Enforcer' Eases Mansionization of Minneapolis Suburb

In an affluent suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota's first 'residential redevelopment coordinator' works as a buffer between aggressive builders and residents upset about the side effects of mansionization.
July 23, 2013, 7am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"Armed with a well-thumbed copy of the city code and a trusty pair of construction boots, Minnesota’s first city teardown enforcement official has started duty in Edina," reports Mary Jane Smetanka.

"Edina hired their 'residential redevelopment coordinator' because the city is a hot spot for developers who demolish small homes and replace them with bigger ones. Last year that happened more than 100 times, setting a record. So far this year, 52 permits for demolition of single-family detached homes have been issued."

"Construction work in some neighborhoods is intense, creating tensions beyond concerns about house size," explains Smetanka. "Unsure who to call, Edina residents have been peppering city departments from police to planning with complaints about dirt, parking, noise, congestion and alleged code violations."

"So City Manager Scott Neal suggested the city create a one-stop shop for both residents and ­builders by creating a city job that deals only with teardown issues."


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Published on Saturday, July 20, 2013 in Minneapolis Star Tribune
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