Planning and Development

The fact that Minnesota, and especially the metropolitan region of St. Paul/Minneapolis, is experiencing a severe affordable housing crisis is not disputed.  The Metropolitan Council recently released data documenting that the metro region of Minnesota is growing substantially but that the supply of new housing, affordable across a broad range of housing types, is lagging. 

When policymakers debate new regulatory policies, including those relating to housing, invariably someone will identify that such regulations come at a price, oftentimes a high price.  This usually triggers the response that complying with the regulations will be the “greedy” developer/builder’s problem and they can simply take it out of their profits.  It’s a nice,

Earlier this year, Housing First MN, a Minnesota trade group that advocates for the interests of the housing industry and homeowners, issued a powerful report entitled Priced Out: The True Cost of Minnesota’s Broken Housing Market (full disclosure: the author represents this organization). The report confirms what others have speculated about in recent years

News publications across the country have affirmed the existence of a near-crisis in providing affordable housing options for first-time homebuyers and low-income housing consumers. Mayoral elections in Minneapolis and St. Paul emphasized the need to address this problem. There are numerous private for-profit and nonprofit housing developers who would love to serve this market; indeed

For more than 30 years, a property owner who claimed that a regulatory action by the government amounted to a compensable taking under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution has been required to litigate the issue in state court first, before being allowed to gain entry to federal court. The 1985 case of Williamson

Virtually all local government jurisdictions in the United States follow a development code when evaluating a proposed development application (Houston, Texas is a notable exception, along with rural townships dominated by traditional agricultural uses). Rather than follow the dictates of their respective development codes, however, a growing number of jurisdictions compel that some types of

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

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