Thursday, December 8, 2016

13 reasons Minneapolis needs to move beyond Intentional Communities

In the videos below, City Council Members Lisa Bender and Jacob Frey make some compelling arguments for why we should ease occupancy restrictions for all people living in Minneapolis, and for why we shouldn't limit housing opportunities to a select few who live in strictly defined "intentional communities."

[For a detailed discussion of problems with the intentional communities ordinance, read my earlier post]

Sunday, December 4, 2016

"Intentional Communities": A Path to Legal Status for White People

Over time, average family sizes get smaller, and old houses get emptier. But in Minneapolis’ lower-density zoning districts, no more than three unrelated people can live together as a household; in higher-density districts, the limit is five unrelated people. For people who want to live with three or more friends in a big old house, this is a problem. As a targeted fix, the City Council is on the verge of removing occupancy restrictions for a select group of residents who live in what are called “intentional communities.”

Intentional communities are “a form of housing co-operative where residents form a household organized around an idea.” In researching a proposal to legalize these communities, City staff found that Minneapolis “is fairly unique in that occupancy is regulated in both the Zoning Code and the Housing Maintenance Code." No other city defines the special legal category of "intentional community," and many peer cities don't specify maximum occupancy in their zoning codes.

Minneapolis’ 1924 definition of a family was surprisingly liberal.