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Discussion: Building Heights

As part of the 2018 Comprehensive Plan Update, required by the Metropolitan Council, the City of Edina is reviewing building heights that are listed within the existing commercial districts of the 2008 Comprehensive Plan. The current Comprehensive Plan is clear regarding building height limits within commercial areas. However, City staff has been grappling with development proposals that do not currently fit within the building height parameters of the current Comprehensive Plan. All building height proposals that do not fit within the existing Comprehensive Plan require amendments to the plan and must be reviewed and approved by the Metropolitan Council. Note that the Metropolitan Council does not require height limits, or any indications of height parameters, as part of Comprehensive Plan submission. The City is looking to review how height is handled in the 2018 Comprehensive Plan Update and seeks input from residents.

Topic: 50th & France

Currently in the 50th & France area, the building height is limited between four and six stories. What building height would you be comfortable with and why?

18 Responses

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Joel Stegner, Community volunteer 10 months ago

I support the status quo. Why change something that is clear and working.

7 Supports
 
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Kristin Reichling 10 months ago

If the current Comprehensive Plan is clear regarding building heights, why is the city grappling with developer proposals? Why don't developers submit proposals that are aligned with our Comprehensive plan?

8 Supports
 
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Jennifer Hennemuth 10 months ago

The comp plan should not be amended to eliminate or increase building heights in the 50th France area. In fact, in light of recently approved development, I would argue they should be specifically reduced. This area is already congested with no room to expand infrastructure. Traffic will inevitably move to the residential neighborhoods to try and bypass congestion. This in turn affects the quiet enjoyment of those residents in their homes and creates potential safety issues for kids, pedestrians etc. As tonpstking, Surface parking is already limited and will be reduced further with current development. This in turn limits the enjoyment and accessibility of the area. This will negatively impact local businesses if parking is a hassle for patrons. In addition, it removes the charm. We must start using more common sense and weigh the consequences of decisions before it's too late.

7 Supports
 
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greta simondet 10 months ago

I agree with Jennifer. 50th & France is not the place for increasing building heights. Taller buildings are best kept to Southdale and Pentagon Park areas.

2 Supports
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Mike Ebnet 10 months ago

I live in the Southdale area. We don't want traffic congestion here either. Please rethink your last sentence.

1 Support
 
 
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Andrea Flom 10 months ago

Before any new building. Need more parking.

0 Supports
 
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Bill Owens 10 months ago

4 stories max!

4 Supports
 
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RICHARD A MINER 10 months ago

I agree with four story maximum to maintain the appeal of the area.

4 Supports
 
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John Buttolph 10 months ago

Maintain the status quo at 50th and France. As I understand it, the City has plans to dramatically increase density in the area through infill. Increasing height limits at the same time as increasing density will create an urban zone out of character with the charm which brings shoppers to this subarea.

3 Supports
 
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Heather Wallace 9 months ago

Prior to opening this discussion, the city approved a 6 story apartment complex, it seems late to ask for opinions.

2 Supports
 
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Barbara Wallace 9 months ago

Traffic here is always congested. Why are left turns allowed at all? I wouldn't like to see any buildings taller than the existing ones. The condos at the corner are already making the area look crowded. It sounds like the new building a block over is too big for the area.

2 Supports
 
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Barb Rae 9 months ago

I don't see any need to increase or change the height from what we have.

1 Support
 
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Eileen Supple 9 months ago

Does the Comprehensive Plan say 4 to 6 stories max or did it effectively changed when a six-story project was approved? Seems odd to have a range as a maximum. I'd prefer no more than 3 stories and limit that to a) France between the new Market St. and 51st and b) 50th St. from France to Halifax.

0 Supports
 
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Daniel Jennings 9 months ago

Edina's the most coveted community within the 494 loop - highest property values are the result of our family based neighborhoods, schools & proximity to Downtown Minneapolis. Currently the school board has no influence over how the city council and Hoveland approve additional property proposals that would have affects schools. As a Concord parent, I can confirm that there's literally no more room for additional kids.

If anyone is familiar with Hinsdale, IL ~ it's an upper bracket, established suburb of Chicago, that experienced the tear-down craze in the Reagan / Bush era. Their community leaders realized that preserving what they had was much more important than building high rises and strip malls... Go there today, 30 years post expansion and it's still a charming, quiet community with coveted schools and outrageous property values. I firmly feel that Edina will regret any of the proposed expansions that chip away at our family based neighborhoods.

Keep Edina's population at 50,000 - no highrises, no strip malls!

1 Support
 
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Bette Englund 9 months ago

50th and France is a destination area. People come to the area BECAUSE it is charming, approachable in scope and has enough free parking available. I agree with the earlier comment about the Hinsdale area. If you want to keep an upper-bracket area with a reason to be in our area... maintain the height and density limits.

1 Support
 
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Hope Melton 9 months ago

We need to rethink this issue of density. As someone who lived 12 years in an inner ring suburb of Stockholm, Sweden, and recently spent a month there witnessing its building boom both there and in the city itself, I became aware of density's advantages. Multi-family buildings are far more energy efficient than single family dwellings, they support mass transit and take cars off the road, they leave space for parks, community gardens, bike paths and and pedestrian areas/public squares. They help build community--when diverse populations interact on a regular basis it enables relationships of mutual understanding, trust, and reciprocity.

I've also lived in Edina for almost 40 years so I understand its charm and the value of its residential neighborhoods. The question is whether very low density and sprawling neighborhoods of single family homes makes financial and environmental sense in the 21st century with its challenges of climate change, very high inequality, and increasing socioeconomic segregation.

Regarding 50th and France, I think 6-8 stories makes sense, especially if greater density is interspersed with green space and pedestrian ways.

0 Supports
 
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Hope Melton 9 months ago

I should say as well that higher densities support affordable housing, an important issue in Edina.

0 Supports
 
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Yolanda Scharton 9 months ago

I believe building heights are being disregarded for reasons that are not economically feasible in the long run. Furthermore, much of the data put forth by the city and its hired researchers fail to acknowledge compelling and expert commercial real estate research that warns of overbuilding apartments and brick and mortar retail. Everday, we hear of retail merchants both local (note the local 50th and France closures: Cooks of Crocus Hill, The pizza restaurant across from cooks of Crocus Hill, etc) -- and national retailers as well, i. e. Southdale Center.

With more retail and the unnecessary apartment complex on 50th and France we are not going to get more community space or the city PR spin of attractive downtown Edina. Rather, we will get congestion, empty store fronts, and a compromised once cherished unique local environment for residents. I urge a more amended plan.

0 Supports