19-unit apartment building nixed on Lyndale

The Planning Commission has blocked a 19-unit apartment building from rising in the Lyndale neighborhood.

Commissioners voted 4-3 on June 3 against rezoning the eighth-acre lot at 3443 Lyndale Ave. for high-density residential, a change needed for developer Alex Brogle to knock down a single-family home and replace it with a four-story apartment.

Even the commissioners who supported rezoning agreed that the proposed building was too big for the lot, and the commission voted unanimously to reject five variances and the site plan.

“I don’t see any care taken to respond to the existing context in this project,” commissioner Ryan Kronzer said.

Brogle had pitched a building entirely composed of one-bedroom apartments on the lot, which currently includes a nearly 2,300-square-foot single-family home. The building would have taken up nearly 60% of the lot, according to a staff report. Units would have ranged from 425 to 525 square feet, Brogle said. Plans didn’t include any parking.

The lot shares a border with a single-family home to the north and the Kitty Klinic to the south. Most buildings on the block are single-family houses.

Brogle told planning commissioners he thought the project was a great fit for the site due to its “urban nature” and location on a main arterial roadway. City staff recommended approval of the rezoning request, noting the site’s proximity to Bryant Avenue, on which Metro Transit runs a high-frequency bus route.

Commissioner Matthew Brown said he supported the rezoning recommendation because of the site’s Lyndale Avenue location, the nearby commercial nodes and the area’s higher-density zoning.

But commissioner Jean Coleman said the other high-density parcels in the area are larger and more suited to accommodate such uses.

Carrie Swanson, whose family lives in a single-family home immediately north of the site, said the building would shadow her family’s yard for much of the year and eliminate “any and all privacy.”

Brogle said after the vote that he hasn’t yet decided how to proceed.

The Planning Commission also voted unanimously to deny four applications that would have allowed Brogle to reduce the minimum building setback. In addition, it voted against a variance that would have allowed Brogle to construct more square footage than allowed by right, given the zoning and the property size.

"19-unit apartment building nixed on Lyndale"; by NATE GOTLIEB; Southwest Journal; June 12, 2019