Minneapolis explores allowing “granny flats”

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Should Minneapolis residents be able to build additional, small dwellings on their property?

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) also-called “granny flats” or “mother-in-law apartments” are already allowed in some parts of the city including the North Phillips Overlay District, which covers the Ventura Village neighborhood, and parts of Phillips West and East Phillips.  Advocates want the policy to extend city-wide and say the extra dwellings create more housing options for aging families.

The City of Minneapolis has started to explore eliminating zoning rules that bar single-family homeowners from building an additional unit on their property, sometimes known as a “granny flat. These units can be a unit above a garage or a small carriage house built on the same lot. Some cities also allow them in the interior of a home, for example in a basement or a third-floor apartment.

Such homes are a new trend. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports they’re not considered duplexes because the apartments aren’t designed for renters. They share common utilities including water, cable TV and electricity. But they’re popular with those who want to live near a loved one – without living with them.

Some communities are looking at allowing accessory units to help make progress toward a variety of community goals, including:

  • Allowing seniors to age-in-place or live near relatives as their housing needs shrink.
  • Improving affordability in a tight rental market.
  • Accommodating the demand for growth without disturbing existing neighborhood character or contributing to sprawl. 
  • Generating income for homeowners to help finance housing costs and improvements to their homes.
  • Diversifying housing stock and provide greater opportunity for single-person households to live in low-density residential areas.
  • Improving walkability with access to local commercial and public/institutional uses.

North: Tuesday, September 16, 2014, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
North Regional Library, 1315 Lowry Ave

Southwest: Wednesday, September 17, 2014, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Kenwood Community Center,  2101 W Franklin Ave

If you have questions contact Community Planning & Economic Development – 612-673-5095

The LNA Housing, Planning & Economic Development Committee will be involved in collecting information and having input and developing recommendations from the Lyndale Neighborhood.  If you have thoughts about the proposal or want to be involved in developing Lyndale’s comments contact Norma at norma@lyndale.org / 612.824.9402 x 15.