The zoning updates will permit multi-unit housing and promote transit-oriented development to boost the city’s housing supply.

1 minute read

October 20, 2023, 6:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

St. Paul skyline as seen from across river

Chris / Adobe Stock

Writing in Pioneer Press, Frederick Melo describes how the St. Paul City Council narrowly voted in favor of “a sweeping overhaul of the city’s zoning code” that will permit ‘missing middle’ housing types and denser development in parts of the city.

In all, six residential zoning districts (R1-R4, RT1, RT2) will be consolidated into just two (H1 and H2), in an effort to simplify the zoning code, especially along major transit corridors. The rules allow a ‘density bonus’ of one or two units for developers who install affordable workforce housing or retain an existing building.

Councilmembers wary of the changes expressed concern about homes getting demolished by investors and displacement of existing residents. In response, “Given construction costs, rent control restrictions, lending markets and the general return on investment, [Council President Amy Brendmoen] predicted varying impacts depending upon each neighborhood, but less dramatic change than some feared.”

Wednesday, October 18, 2023 in Pioneer Press

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