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Plan for Habitat for Humanity homes on Minnetonka church property appears likely to be denied

Minnetonka hosts debate over affordable housing on Mills Church property
Minnetonka hosts debate over affordable housing on Mills Church property 00:48

MINNETONKA, Minn. — Mills Church and Habitat for Humanity are pushing for more affordable housing in Minnetonka, but the City Council doesn't appear to be on board.

The units would be built on the church's property in the Minnetonka Mills neighborhood. The historic church, built in the late 1800s, sits on prime real estate near the intersection of Minnetonka Boulevard and Plymouth Road.

Officials from the church and the nonprofit were present during the Minnetonka Planning Commission's Thursday night meeting to discuss the proposed construction.

Their original plan, first unveiled in 2022, called for more than a dozen townhomes. They recently submitted an updated plan that would instead include five duplexes on more than 8 acres of church land.

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But a city staff report already infers the City Council, which has suggested keeping residential buildings in residential areas, will shut the plan down.

Residents opposed to the plan say they're against rezoning, not Habitat for Humanity.

"We're actually for affordable housing, just in the right place," said resident Carrie Michels. "In the Minnetonka Mills area, that is not the right place."

Chris Coleman is president and CEO of Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity.

"We need to be able to accelerate these processes. You can't spend five years trying to build 10 units of housing," Coleman said. "If you do, you'll never get out of the housing crisis that we have in Minnesota."

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