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Moratorium On Mpls Home Teardowns Lifted, New Construction Rules Adopted

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Residential builders and developers in southwest Minneapolis can get back to work after the Minneapolis City Council officially lifted a one-year moratorium on Friday.

Last month, City Council Member Linnea Palmisano, who represents Ward 13, declared the moratorium because of what she says were growing concerns about the large number of small homes being torn down and replaced by much larger ones in five popular southwest Minneapolis neighborhoods. There were also complaints from residents about construction debris and noise.

Now that the moratorium is lifted, builders and developers of one- and two-unit residential properties will be required to sign a "Construction Management Agreement." The agreement has 25 points to ensure construction sites are well managed, and that negative impacts on neighbors are reduced.

"I think they're good," said Michael Anschel, owner of Otogawa-Anschel Design + Build. "I think the more the building community is pushed to act like a responsible industry … to monitor themselves, to regulate, to put best practices in place and care about the waterways and our environment, the better."

Luckily, Anschel's four projects in southwest Minneapolis were not impacted with the moratorium since they're past the construction phase and are now in the design phase. When he first heard about the moratorium, he thought the city was overacting.

"This is really a lack of enforcement more than anything else," he said. "What could've been done is for the city to go to the builders groups and say 'We're going to start some really heavy enforcement.'"

Parts of the 25 points in the Construction Management Agreement are based off of city ordinances already in place. They include:

- Hours of Work and Noise Reduction
- Dumpsters and Street Use
- Protecting Neighbors Properties
- Environmental Mitigation
- Contact For Neighbors

As the new ordinances take effect, the city's Community Planning and Economic Development Department will continue working on a zoning study that could dictate further development across the city.

"I'm pleased that this effort is paying off so quickly," said City Council President Barb Johnson. "That's what happens when you can get the right players to the table, and I appreciate that this plan really listened to neighbors' concerns."

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