Zoning modernization initiative announced at the legislature this week

The press event featured a bipartisan group of legislators as well as a diverse group of coalitions who are in support of the initiative.

This week, the legislature took the first steps towards a groundbreaking, state-level modernization of Minnesota’s zoning practices.

The “Minnesotans for More Homes” initiative, announced at a press conference with a bi-partisan coalition of legislators, would attempt to address the housing crisis afflicting the state by allowing the construction of more homes of all types and price points.

This initiative represents the most locally responsive approach to zoning reform in the nation, addressing the unique needs and challenges communities across Minnesota face. Additionally, it aims to increase housing affordability and access by legalizing more housing options across Minnesota.

At Tuesday’s press event, legislators were joined by a coalition of diverse groups and organizations like Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, Housing First Minnesota, The Sierra Club and Neighbors for More Neighbors.

Bill authors Rep. Kraft and Rep. Kozlowski spoke to the House Housing and Finance Policy Committee on Tuesday

Unlike previous attempts, the “Minnesotans for More Homes” Initiative is not a “one-size-fits-all” solution. It recognizes the unique needs of different communities and treats larger and smaller communities differently. Importantly, this legislation imposes no mandates on cities, property owners, renters, builders, or developers. Instead, it bans exclusionary policies and lifts unfunded mandates, empowering property owners to select their housing options and amenities.

By placing guardrails on local zoning powers, the initiative ensures that communities can grow sustainably. It encourages infill development and promotes the efficient use of land where municipal infrastructure already exists, ultimately reducing the need for new municipal spending and increasing affordability.

A bill that is part of this initiative was heard in the House Housing and Finance Policy Committee Tuesday afternoon. It was passed unanimously by members of the committee.