Minneapolis just eliminated single-family zoning. Should California cities follow suit?

Please subscribe to the Gimme Shelter podcast on Apple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudGoogle Play or Overcast. 

“Zoning reform”—changing how cities decide what types of homes can be built where—isn’t just a hot topic in California.

Minneapolis, Minnesota made national headlines earlier this month when the city council adopted a plan that would force neighborhoods previously zoned only for single-family homes to allow the construction of duplexes and triplexes. The plan also calls for denser housing like apartment buildings around public transportation hubs.

On this episode of “Gimme Shelter, the California Housing Crisis Podcast,” Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender talks about whether Minneapolis can reverse decades of racist housing policy through zoning reform, and what lessons the city can impart to California.

“I think that was an important conversation for us to have openly, and I think we need to keep having it,” said Bender “Not everyone is convinced, that’s for sure. Focusing the conversation in race is uncomfortable sometimes for some folks.”

Bender, who previously worked for the city of San Francisco as an urban planner, also criticized California’s signature environmental law, the California Environmental Quality Act.

“I’m glad we don’t have that in Minneapolis because we probably would have been enjoined from doing our plan,” says Bender. “My experience is that (CEQA) was often counter to long-term environmental benefit.”

On this episode of “Gimme Shelter,” CALmatters’ Matt Levin and the Los Angeles Times’ Liam Dillon discuss the momentum for zoning reform in other states, and recap the most important (and absurd) California housing stories of 2018.

Latest in Housing

Housing

Housing action just half-a-loaf

The feet of Mr. Murphy, who has been on Skid Row for a year. Outreach workers are not sure where he came from. Photos by Dan Morain for CALmatters

Housing

California’s homeless crisis all too often is a health crisis

A luxury apartment complex in Little Tokyo in Los Angeles. Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters

Housing

Big rent hikes are about to be illegal in California. Here’s what you should know

Housing

Remakes and fresh takes: On these 2019 bills, it’s now Newsom’s call

More apartments would go up near transit under a bill that its sponsor says is vital to helping California meet its ambitious housing goals. Photo via Creative Commons.

Housing

Rent cap bill won’t fix California’s housing crisis

Housing

Podcast: The strange politics behind California’s rent cap bill