Bde Maka Ska area ‘conservation district’ proposal allowed to move forward

The little neighborhood surrounding Ivy Lane and West 32nd Street consists of a few blocks on the west shore of Bde Maka Ska. These blocks sit in what resident Meg Forney describes as an “odd little crotch” between two hills, between the sprawling Minikahda Golf Course on the south and the hulking office buildings along West Lake Street. Many of the homes date to the early 1900s, and come in a mix of shapes and sizes. Many are very small — what Forney calls “cottages, cabins or camps” — and might be close to 1,000 square feet. Others have been modified and expanded, owners having been added on to or rebuilt through the years.

In a prime location next to the city’s most popular lake, all the homes are valuable. It’s unusual for an area like this to have such valuable homes and such diversity of housing stock — small bungalows next to larger apartment towers — all in a picturesque lakeside location.

Even more unusual is that these short streets might become the city’s first “conservation district,” an untested preservation tool intended to help retain the historic character of Minneapolis’ residential neighborhoods. Tuesday, on a 5-3 vote, the Heritage Preservation Commission (HPC) gave the budding district the go-ahead to receive further study, and potential design guidelines that could shape future development in the 3.2 acre area.

If it works out, the new conservation district would be the first in the city, and could, in practice, undermine zoning changes coming to the area as part of the newly adopted 2040 Plan. With a new station for the Southwest Light Rail being built just two blocks away, the district poses a fresh challenge to Minneapolis’ attempt to build density near transit, and poses a fresh fight between preservationists and planners on the western edge of Minneapolis.

Read entire article HERE.

"Bde Maka Ska area ‘conservation district’ proposal allowed to move forward"; By Bill Lindeke; MinnPost; Sept 18, 2019

Keywords: Mplsparks; Neighbors

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