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Chicago & Lake Development: Now What?

In mid-November, the City of Minneapolis approved a proposal for a mixed-use apartment building with studio units and commercial space at the southeast corner of Lake & Chicago.

You can read about the community’s response to the development here and about what happened at the City Planning Commission meeting here.

Now, we are left to examine the ways in which structures can be altered to give our communities more leverage in community development:

Notification is not Enough

Neighborhood associations are looped in on development projects too late in the process. This was reinforced with the proposed redevelopment plans at Lake & Chicago where developers met the City’s community involvement standard which is simply to notify the neighborhood association and ward council office. The ordinances that outline this requirement are seemingly simple in language but don’t help communities who want their voices to have an impact.

Some City Ordinances Perpetuate the Problem

Half a dozen City ordinances only require neighborhood groups to be notified about certain types of development. These notifications come after plans are already near or completely finalized.

Viable Community Leverage is Needed

One way to achieve community leverage that has actual impact is by amending current ordinances to ensure neighborhood input is directional and not a matter of checking a box. Another method is for the community to work together to fund development projects.

A PPNA Priority in 2019

The association is excited to work with the community to positively change several ordinances that limit or ignore our preferences and priorities in development. Here’s what that might look like:

The top half, in orange, indicates the current process for development. PPNA hopes to work with Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) and other groups to propose a model that allows communities to share their priorities on an annual basis. For example, “This year Powderhorn wants to see developments that include affordable housing options and thatallow for plenty of parking.” These priorities would then directly influence a CPED staff recommendation to the City Planning Commission.

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