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: 70th & Cahill

Currently in the 70th & Cahill area, the building height is limited between two and four stories. What building height would you be comfortable with and why?

7 Responses

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Joel Stegner, Community volunteer about 1 month ago

I used to live at 77th and Cahill. My concern with greater heights at that intersection is the level of traffic at the corner of 70th and Cahill and the impact of increasing building height on current successful businesses for which parking is adequate and rents have to be reasonable. I am generally opposed to forcing out long terms residents or businesses in pursuit of tax base, particularly when the area East of Cahill Is much larger and has many single level warehouses that probably have more efficient use. Traffic levels in that area to the south are much less. There would be space for corporate headquarters style office building down there as well as high rise apartment blocks.

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Jennifer Hennemuth 25 days ago

I believe the building heights at 70th and Cahill should also remain the same. If they are increased it will encourage higher density development which will purge the naturally occurring affordable housing available in that district presently. Edina is rapidly being over-developed as a result of continued comp plan amendments and variances. These variances/amendments contribute to the loss of naturally occurring affordable housing. I don't think it's appropriate for city officials to amend the comp plan to increase building heights with the intent of encouraging development while displacing residents. And that's in fact what's happening and will happen as a result of eliminating restrictions or increasing building heights.

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Paul Nelson admin 20 days ago

As with the other small area plans we are looking at in this question I feel that this area is a decent area to consider higher density as it is generally a buffer between industrial and residential with current residential being multifamily and some single family. This area, with the proper design I feel could support buildings in the 4-6 story range. Again, it's not exactly the height that is the issue here - I believe the design to meld with the neighborhood is more valuable as is the concept being developed and how it will relate with and compliment the neighboring properties and residents.

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Joe Corbett at October 16, 2017 at 10:35am CDT

I think this area could support 6-7, but agree with Joel that the focus out to be the adjacent industrial area that could support mixed-use development with taller buildings.

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Gary Bartolett at October 16, 2017 at 4:20pm CDT

The rub with all of these density questions is what kind of city do the residents what Edina to be: single family or high rise. The Met Council wants high rise so that the residents live where they want them to. If you are dependent on public transportation you must live and work where transport goes and can not escape Minneapolis by voting with your feet. If the residents wanted Minneapolis they would live there. Keep height restrictions as they are and make developers follow them.

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Barb Rae at October 16, 2017 at 9:49pm CDT

I happen to live in the area being discussed and have for 25 years. I look at the mix as mostly homes with a few small businesses. There are 21 high-end townhouse on the corner and up the hill, and not one owner thinks of their homes as multiple housing. There are a few double bungalows and ONE multiple apartment building.This is a residential area! If you want to change the area then take down the few small businesses and build some homes. No one in the area wants density. It would bring buildings towering over homes, reduce the value of those homes, increase traffic that during rush hour (morning and evening) prevents home owners from exiting their driveways because cars are bumper to bumper all the way up 70th Street. The developers stand to gain through the profits they make, the city gains in creating more tax revenue, and will be able to require more low income units for the area. The people of Edina are the losers in this situation. Very few people want more density, especially in their neighborhoods. I have not heard any reasons given for the push by the city to continue to try to squeeze more and more people into Edina. Please encourage the developers to look somewhere besides Edina to build and leave us to enjoy what we have. People who don't live in the area may have an opinion but please note that they will not be the ones affected by the changes being discussed. This topic came up once before a few years ago. It was not a good idea then, and it is NOT a good idea now.

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Barb Rae at October 16, 2017 at 10:00pm CDT

Two stories, maximum.

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