Achieve higher density housing through at least two of the following strategies:
a. Incorporate a flexible lot size/frontage requirement for infill development. b. Use density and floor area ratio (FAR) bonuses in selected residential zoning districts. c. Clustered residential development; tie a regulatory standard to comprehensive plan language defining compact city expansion zones that limit low-density development. d. Allowing accessory dwelling units, single-room occupancy housing, senior housing, co-housing or tiny houses / apartments by right in selected zoning districts. e. Implement a vacation rental property registration policy and/or special tax.
Here is one way a 500-acre urban walkshed -- the circle area accessible to the average person walking 10 minutes (1/2 mile) -- can evolve over time from an average density of 10 dwelling units per acre (DUA) to 30 DUA. (1) Add just 2 DUA (2 backyard cottages on each block) to 80% (400 acres) of the walkshed. (2) Take only 40 acres and develop a high property tax-generating, people-focused core of 180 DUA (6- and 8-story mixed-use buildings). (3) Surround the core with a belt of blocks (60 acres) at 60 DUA (a mix of townhouses, cottages, and small condos). From Carbon Zero cities (Alex Steffen: 2012 - search for "tentpole density").
See a national resource on accessory dwelling units, a Strong Town guide to making ADU's legal and easy (e.g., city pre-approved designs), the Ventura Village (Minneapolis) carriage housing initiative, and background on cohousing, a specific residential building form, and also a type of intentional community. Defining characteristics include private homes for all ages supplemented by common facilities, and resident participation and management.
Note that short-term rentals on platforms such as AirBnB and VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner), while adding lodging options, income and vitality to neighborhoods, can have negative impacts. Cities may need common sense rules to protect true home-sharers while reining in commercial operators who can reduce affordable housing options (2019 Harvard Business Review study) and diminish the quality of life in residential neighborhoods.
See the AirBnB Policy Tool Chest for information and examples of cities using tax collection, 21st century accountability tools, and promoting more sustainable tourism in vacation rental units.
Use a process/ordinance (planned unit development or other) that allows increased density, and approves development on substandard lots through flexible frontage and lot sizes; create a density bonus in one residential or commercial zoning district; allow accessory dwelling units in one single-family zoning district or overlay area.
Have a rural residential cluster development ordinance/process; have a density bonus in multiple areas in the city; bonus for underground parking or EV charging or proximity to transit or multifamily playground space; allow accessory dwelling units and/or co-housing developments in multiple single-family districts; allow tiny houses (~400 sq. ft.) on small lots or small (~350 sq. ft.) apartments.
Create an additional density bonus linked to a transfer of development rights program that protects agricultural or natural resource land on the fringe of the urban area; tie accessory dwelling units (ADU)s explicitly into a plan for increasing affordable housing and/or reducing homelessness; allow rooming or boarding houses or single-resident occupancy units; uncap the number of roommates who may share a dwelling unit.
Who's doing it
Chanhassen - 3 star
Date action report first entered:
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The PUD district permits lot flexibility and would allow a density bonus of up to 25 percent for hte provision of affordable housing. The PUD district also permits desity transfer within a development to preserve natural features. The Bluff Creek Overlay District requires the use of density transfer for the preservation of primary creek corridor. The RLM district permits smaller lot sizes with the preservation of significant,natural, upland areas.
On October 1, the Planning and Zoning Committee met and reviewed a draft Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) survey as a result of a robust discussion at their September 3rd meeting. On November 5, 2015, the group reviewed the survey results (attached). It was noted there was quite a variety of replies. The Committee decided it would move forward with the topic, but take their time, seek input from other members who were not at the meeting.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Discussion will continue on whether a change to the zoning ordinance is a proactive and favorable approach to creating a more efficient use of existing housing stock and public investment.
Cottage Grove permits site development flexibility through the Planned Unit Development or Planned Development Overlay zoning process. Density bonuses are available in multi-family districts. An accessory dwelling unit is allowed in all residential zoning districts.
Efficiency units are allowed in all mixed use zones with a minimum lot size 380sqft. Accessory dwelling units are allowed in all Residential zones. Residential-Planned communities can reduce lot frontage by up to 25% and lot area up to 50% when clustering development to preserve open space.
The City of Edina has been able to achieve higher density housing through the incorporation of flexible frontage requirements for infill development, by utilizing density and floor area ratio bonuses in a number of residential zoning districts, and through regulation to limit low-density housing in more dense residential areas.
A) The City has established a PUD process that provides flexibility from strict zoning requirements in an effort to more efficiently use city services and infrastructure.
C) The City has also established a cluster development process which is intended to cluster rural residential in an area to preserve natural resources. Windsor Park, Meadow Woods Village, and Ridges of Rice Lake are examples of our cluster developments. This is mentioned in various sections of the Comprehensive Plan.
Density bonuses are allowed in the Medium Density Residential Zoning District (R-3) for providing underground parking, locating near a transit route, or providing substantial recreation facilities onsite. Senior and physical disability housing in the R-3 Zoning District may be allowed a density in excess of 12 units per acre or up to 5 stories or 60 feet in height after review by the Planning Commission and approval by the Council. The Planned Unit Development (PUD) Ordinance allows for increased density.
Flexible lot size/frontage requirement for infill development allowed through Planned Residential Development regulations and within the R-4, RMU, and DC Zoning Districts.
Accessory dwellings allowed per achievement of minimum lots size for a 2nd dwelling unit in the R-2 an R-3 Zoning Districts.
The City of Inver Grove Heights regular Zoning Ordinance (2002) allows for accessory dwelling units in single-family zoning districts throughout the city. Our Northwest Area Ordinance (2007) allows for increased density and approves development on substandard lots through flexible frontage and lots sizes.
The City has adopted PUD's for 3 apartment complexes over the last several years allowing higher density and flexible setbacks. The 1st building is 89 units, the 2nd (Affordable Housing Complex) is 180 units with a 3rd complex in the building process consisting of 355 units. Setbacks were adjusted for the 3rd apartment. All 3 buildings have underground parking. We are also currently working with the owner of the 1st apartment building to expand and add a 2nd building to their complex. several small buildings with a total of 12 units will be torn down so a new building with 39 units can be added. The 1st & 3rd buildings are located within a block of each other in the residential area and all the apartments are in walking distance of downtown & the newly built City playground.
(2a) New Brighton has used the Planned Unit Development process in the City’s New Brighton Exchange redevelopment area to encourage higher density housing by allowing flexible minimum lot size and frontage requirements. The Enclave at New Brighton Exchange is the most recent example of implementation of flexible lot size/frontage requirements for infill development.
(2b)New Brighton’s Planned Residential Development ordinance allows a density bonus in all residential districts of up to 150% for any housing serving the elderly. New Brighton’s B-4, Downtown Business district, which permits residential uses, does not provide any maximum density or floor area ratio limitations.
The city offers density bonuses in residential districts for things such as providing underground parking, proximity to public transit, incorporating a outdoor play area for multi-family projects, etc.
Rochester's zoning ordinance incorporates three of the four suggested strategies. It has flexible frontage and lot size standards, makes density bonuses available in four of six residential districts, and allows accessory apartments in the same four districts 9one of which, R1-x, is the default district on annexation).
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
average density of new development
average lot size for new development
Apple Valley permits flexible lot sizes through the Planned Development zoning process, density bonuses in multifamily districts, and accessory dwelling units by right in Planned Development districts.
Burnsville allows a flexible lot size/frontage for Planned Unit Developments District.
Density bonus & FAR bonuses are allowed for Planned Unit Developments, MIX and HOC. Under the General Provisions, development on residential lots that meet 70% of the lot sized standard in the district is allowed. Development is also allowed on all lots of record in commercial/industrial districts.
A regulatory standard limits low-density development, as showing in the MIX Zoning Distric, and the HOC Zoning District.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The zoning districts are part of the zoning ordinance. The best way to view the zoning ordinance is on line at www.burnsville.org then click on City Code. The entire zoning ordinance is Title 10. Each specific zoning district has its own chapter within the zoning ordinance.
Please note that we are still in the process of implementing our comprehensive plan updates and that on the zoning map, the areas that show up as R3C Regional Center Residential will be changed to MIX zoning in a couple of months. Also, there is an existing MIX district at Valley Ridge where the Dakota CDA/Presbyterian Homes Valley Ridge assisted care/memory care and independent living mixed use project is under construction. (The site is located SW of the intersection of CSAH 5 and Burnsville Parkway on land that was formerly Valley Ridge Shopping Center.
The City's current residential redevelopment project, Grand Central Lofts, only allows condo and town home development on the lot (see link). Past residential redevelopment also focused on town home lots such as the Park View project as reported in the Comprehensive Plan (http://mn-columbiaheights.civicplus.com/DocumentCenter/Home/View/266) page 6. In addition, the City always has had small lots as allowing in the Code (see attached excepts).
Coon Rapids' zoning code provides for flexibility in lot sizes/frontages for infill development in a couple ways. First, small-lot single-family homes that are part of a common-interest community are allowed as a planned unit development in single-family residential zoning districts. Second, small-lot single-family homes are allowed along with other attached housing in an overlay district along the Coon Rapids Boulevard corridor, which is a primary redevelopment and growth area of the City.
Apartments and other types of attached housing are allowed in several zoning districts: the Riverdale Transit Station District, PORT redevelopment District, Moderate Density Residential District, and High-Density Residential District.
2a)The B-2 downtown business district requires a minimum lot size of 5,000 sf and a lot width of 50 feet. The Riste Lot in downtown Farmington is a infill lot that contains 3,484 sf and a 40 ft lot width. This lot will require a variance when it is developed allowing a flexible lot size/ frontage for infill develoment.
2d) Accessory dwelling units are allowed in the downtown single-family residential district on lots at 6,000 sf or more.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Infill development has flexible requirements in order to have development occur on the site and accessory dwelling units provide options to homeowners.
The City of Mankato offers Floor Area Ratio bonuses within the Central Business District-Core and Central Business District-Fringe zoning districts. While primarily commercial, residential is allowed and encouraged above the ground floor through Conditional Use Permit process. Floor Area Ratio incentives utilized for several recent and forthcoming redevelopment projects have been critical to these and has brought an increased residential component to the downtown core and contributed to the mixed-use vitaility of the area.
We also utilize the Planned Unit Development process. A planned unit development is intended to encourage the efficient use of land and resources, to promote greater efficiency in public and utility services, and to encourage innovation in the planning and building of all types of development. A planned unit development may be approved by the City Council following a review and recommendation by the Planning Agency.
See Mankato City Code for more information - http://www.mankato-mn.gov/CityCode/Section-10.93.aspx
Maplewood encourages higher density housing through the incorporation of flexible lot size/footage requirement for infill development and the usage of density and floor ratio bonuses in selected residential zoning district.
The City Council approved an ordinance amendment to add regulations for its MX-3 Transit Oriented District at its June 21 City Council meeting. This district does not allow single-family houses and requires residential properties to be between a density of 30 units/acre and 50 units/acre. The FAR for residential and non-residential uses in this district is 0.5.
Utilized city lot next to Marshall County Group Home lot for installation of geothermal heat sink to allow new group home to have lower heating and cooling costs moving forward. Building twin townhomes utilizing infrastructure more effiecently,
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Lower heating and cooling costs for hot water, heat and cooling of the Marshall County Group home moving forward. Good use of existing non buildable lot owned by city for putting in Geothermal heat sink. Better use of land and infrastructure in developing twin homes.