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Zoning regulations a problem for some Minnesotan developers

Minnesota has many zoning regulations, but one that has perhaps outlived its stay is called planned unit development or PUD. PUDs are areas in a city that are saved for special projects that the city decides it wants to have. Cities can designate areas for PUDs, which helps projects like the soon-to-be Market Street redevelopment take place.

PUDs have been written into Minnesota law since the 1970s, but now some say they are being overused. Since 2010, 13 PUDs have been created in Edina, for instance, which allow both commercial and real-estate developers benefit from the area's use. For instance, if the business is allowed to have an extra few stories, it may make space for a park that the city also wants in the area. That's the purpose of the PUD.

PUDs are expensive, though, and that makes the prices of some things, like small homes, go up for homeowners. For instance, if a residential developer wants to build homes in an area for the elderly and obtains a PUD to make them smaller and more cost-effective in the city's specified area, the cost of obtaining that PUD may actually make the development as expensive or more than building a larger home to begin with. That encourages many to turn away from the PUD areas, since they can't meet their budgets.

One solution the real-estate developers want to see put into action is zoning code changes. Giving them fewer fees to build the structures needed in the city could benefit everyone, the entire goal of PUDs to begin with.

Source: Star Tribune, "Is it time for Minnesota to give up on PUDs? Some developers and city officials think so," Don Jacobson, July 06, 2017

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