Minnesotans Split Over Sod Farmland

Ham Lake, Minnesota, residents are torn over the best way to preserve the rural character of their St. Paul suburb.

1 minute read

May 26, 2008, 11:00 AM PDT

By thalbur


"The Ham Lake City Council has drawn a line in the sod.

On one side is the mayor, who says it's time to let landowners develop sod fields without city restrictions that call for a minimum of one acre of land for each house.

"Instead of spreading 40 houses over 40 acres, what I'd like to do is take these 40 houses, cluster them," said Mayor Paul Meunier. "Use 5 or 6 acres for housing and turn the rest back to its natural habitat. You'd have wetlands, wildlife preserves that guarantee open space forever. We'd maintain our rural character."

But that's not how things have been done before in Ham Lake, say other members of the City Council.

"One acre, one house," said Joey Erikson, one of four City Council members who support the current development plan.

"I support future farm-sod development," Erikson said. "I've seen the great developments that have occurred in Blaine. But I don't support cluster.""

Saturday, May 24, 2008 in Star Tribune, Minneapolis-St. Paul

Rendering of electric scooters, electric cars, light rail train, and apartments in background.

Arizona’s ‘Car-Free’ Community Takes Shape

Culdesac Tempe has been welcoming residents since last year.

February 14, 2024 - The Cool Down

Aerial view of suburban sprawl with large single-family homes near Dallas, Texas.

The Changing Shape of American Suburbs

Housing costs and availability are pushing more American households, including young families, to suburbs and exurbs — and they’re demanding changes.

February 13, 2024 - Business Insider

Freeway toll booth with "Stop" and "Pay Toll" signs

Clearer Thinking About Transportation Pricing

It’s time to reform transportation pricing to reduce traffic congestion, crashes, and pollution, and improve non-auto travel options. Raise my prices, please!

February 13, 2024 - Todd Litman

Man on bike rides next to parked cars.

Opinion: How Vehicle-to-Everything Tech Can Protect Cyclists

The technology could enable cars and bikes to communicate and reduce collisions.

10 minutes ago - Streetsblog USA

Aerial view of housing and freeway in Cupertino, California.

Proposal Would Link Highway Funding to Zoning

Experts argue that zoning, housing, and transportation policy are intimately linked.

1 hour ago - Federation of American Scientists

Close-up of old, rusted water pipe leaking at joint.

White House Announces $5.8 Billion in Water Infrastructure Funding

The new funds add to the effort to replace aging infrastructure and lead pipes.

February 21 - ABC News

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

The Walkable City

Harvard GSD Executive Education

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.