Tim Keane Quoted in U.S. News & World Report About Denser Development, City Zoning in Minneapolis

December 12, 2018

Kutak Rock attorney Tim Keane was recently quoted in the December 5 U.S. News & World Report article “Minneapolis Argues Over Denser Development.”

The article covers the affordable housing and job access problems in Minneapolis and the city’s development plan, Minneapolis 2040, that will shape how the city will grow and change over the next 20 years. According to the article, “In the Twin Cities, the population has grown faster than the housing supply since 2010…and people aren’t buying that more housing leads to affordable housing.”

The city plans to grow through a radical increase in denser development, with triplexes allowed in neighborhoods currently restricted to single-family homes. But according to many, increasing the density of housing will only preserve the disparities in poverty and income throughout the city.

Mr. Keane, a former city planner whose work at Kutak Rock includes real estate, land use, and eminent domain, says that “Densification is a fad contrived by the real estate industry, a great experiment by the new urbanists that doesn't have any evidence for any predictable outcomes.”

He says he objects to the plan's radical premise of "blanket upzoning" – changing the zoning code to allow for more density citywide – without taking into account the "carrying capacity" of accompanying infrastructure like schools, parks and transit. He predicts the lowest-priced homes in both modest and highly desirable neighborhoods will be the first casualties of the plan as builders begin tearing down to bolster their earnings through investor-owned duplexes or triplexes.

Read the entire article here.

Mr. Keane is an attorney in the real estate group of Kutak Rock LLP's Minneapolis office. He focuses his practice on commercial real estate law, including land use and zoning, eminent domain, public law, and transactions. Mr. Keane frequently serves as development counsel on corporate and governmental legal matters including real estate transactions, complex land use approvals, and litigation oversight; project management, planning, design and development; and site and market analysis.