Cities throughout Minnesota are busy updating their comprehensive plans, a process that typically occurs every 10 years or so. As a reminder, comprehensive plans serve as the visionary roadmap for a city’s intended long-term growth; the implementing tools are the zoning ordinance, subdivision ordinance and similar policies. Of course, cities have the discretion to amend…

Those of us who advise business clients, including real estate development clients, about state and local regulatory matters are pretty comfortable working under the long-standing division of authority between cities and state or federal regulators. We understand, for example, that local units of government are creatures of the state legislature, with powers limited to the…

Forgive developer Martin Harstad if he thought he was in Potterville and not Woodbury when the city told him he had to pay nearly $1.4 million in “road assessments” as a condition of approval for his “Bailey Park” residential development. Harstad sued Woodbury to challenge its authority to demand the road assessments and won in…

Stretching from the Cathedral of St. Paul to the Mississippi River, St. Paul’s Summit Avenue is one of the premier stretches of Victorian homes in the United States. Throughout the last four decades, the neighborhood has been the target of investment and restoration that has solidified Summit Avenue as an iconic part of Minnesota’s Capitol…

Property owners in the path of light rail and bus rapid transit projects are now eligible to receive the full protection of the state’s eminent domain laws, thanks to legislation passed in 2017 by the State Legislature.

Before passage of this legislation, the Metropolitan Council (Met Council) had been taking the position that it was a…

Depending on your politics, you may regard transit investment and transit-oriented development (TOD) as “government boondoggle” or “essential building blocks” for livable communities. Setting aside politics for a moment, let’s look at what TOD is and what it can do for a developing community or region.

At its core, TOD is urban development that harnesses public…