The next meeting of the Zoning Committee will be Monday, June 17th at 7:00 pm at the Linden Hills Park building.
May 2013 Zoning Results
- 3748 W. Calhoun Pkwy.: The committee voted 4-2 not to oppose the variances requested, including a front yard setback variance, floor area ratio (FAR) variance, and a variance to allow development within 40 ft. of a steep slope. One of the two Committee members who voted to oppose, believes there is not sufficient justification to allow the precedent-setting setback and FAR variances, but did not oppose the steep slope variance.
- Proposed 46th & France Development: The committee voted 4-2 not to oppose the rezoning the developer is seeking to allow the project to proceed.
April 2013 Zoning Results
- 4031 Queen Ave S.: The committee voted 4-0 not to oppose the steep slope variance for the second floor addition.
- 3835 Thomas Ave S.: The committee voted 4-0 not to oppose the setback variance for the construction of a detached garage.
- France/46 proposed development: The developer and architect presented drawings of the proposed development's redesign, and answered questions from neighbors about the 56-unit, high-density project.
March 2013 Zoning Results:
- 4151 Vincent Ave S.: The committee voted 5-0 not to oppose the garage and home enhancements on this reverse-corner lot.
- France/46 proposed development: The development team presented a new concept to the committee and the most-affected neighbors. There were approximately 10 neighbors in attendance. At the April Zoning Meeting, the development team will present additional drawings, and discuss the general size, appearance, and benefits of the new concept.
Variance Request Requirements for Linden Hills
What is a variance?
A variance is an approved exception from the City Zoning
code for a specific use of your land, usually a construction project. Because it is a special request to vary City
codes, a variance requires review by the City and notice to the community and your neighbors.
for the Findings as Required by City of Minneapolis Zoning Code.
I've submitted an application to City Hall for my variance and was told I had to contact
my neighborhood organization; can I simply send you an email?
In Linden Hills we believe communication
is the most important step when dealing with variance requests. Therefore LHiNC has created a Zoning Committee
to process all requests. This Committee consists of residents interested in the topic, but do not work for the
city nor claim they are experts in the City zoning codes. The Zoning Committee reviews all variance requests
for Linden Hills following the process below (please note this is in addition to the steps you are required to
fulfill for your city application and pertains to the Neighborhood Zoning Committee only):
- Notify LHiNC of your variance. Send an email to the coordinator at email@example.com.
In your email please include: a) contact information including name, phone
and email, b) property address requiring the variance, c) description of project
and d) variance request - describe your request in detail including the current
zoning code you are asking to vary from, e) your reason for practical difficulties, f) your city planner's name,
email and phone g) your board of adjustment hearing date - if set and h) the
LHiNC Zoning Committee meeting you would like to attend (third Monday of month,
see calendar). The Coordinator will
return your message to confirm your attendance.
- Prepare to present your request to LHiNC's Zoning Committee. LHiNC's Zoning
Committee meets the third Monday of each month at the Linden Hills Park at
7:00 p.m. The Linden Hills Park is located at 43rd & Xerxes.
The Neighborhood Coordinator will return your email with a proposed date that you can present to the
committee. Please note: The Chair must have confirmation that you would like to present at a meeting the
Wednesday preceding the meeting; this is to insure all the necessary paperwork is completed and the Committee
Members are aware of the request.
Prepare the necessary paperwork. Submit a narrative describing your variance request AND all supporting drawings and documentation 5 calendar days prior to the meeting. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org in PDF format.
Present your request to the LHiNC Zoning Committee. At the meeting you will have an opportunity to present
your project, submit your Good Faith Notification Form and speak to the four criteria listed in the Zoning Code
(click here to see). Committee members and guests will have an opportunity to ask questions and give comments.
If there is no opposition, this usually goes pretty quickly. If the committee votes to recommend not opposing
it, they'll notify your City planner. Otherwise, it is sent to the whole Linden Hills Neighborhood Council Board
for review (they meet the First Tuesday of the month).
- Create a Good Faith Notification. LHiNC has learned
that the most important step regarding variance requests is to contact
the neighbors that will be most affected by the variance. Therefore
we asked that every person presenting to the Zoning Committee be accompanied
by a Good Faith Notification (GFN) because it is the Zoning Committees only
proof that your neighbors were notified of the meeting you will attend.
You can create your own GFN, or download
- It is the responsibility of the property owner to get the GFN signed by 'most affected' neighbors
prior to attending the LHiNC Zoning meeting. There is no set formula as to ‘most affected’; this can
vary depending on the orientation of the project. For example, if the porch is on the front of the house,
the most affected neighbors would be the ones on either side and the house directly across the street and
its adjacent neighbors. A rear porch would require contact with the neighbors across the alley rather than
across the street. The city has much broader notice requirements for ‘most affected’ (350 feet) which are
for the city's public meeting.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who should I contact with more questions about the process?
You can contact LHiNC's Coordinator at 612-926-2906 or email@example.com.
What are the four criteria that I will need to speak to at the LHiNC Zoning Committee meeting?
- The property cannot be put to a reasonable use under the conditions allowed by the official controls and strict adherence to
the regulations of this zoning ordinance would cause practical difficulties.
- The circumstances are unique to the parcel of land for which the variance is sought and have not been created by any persons
presently having an interest in the property. Economic considerations alone shall not constitute a practical difficulty if reasonable
use for the property exists under the terms of the ordinance.
- The granting of the variance will be in keeping with the spirit and intent of the ordinance and will not alter the essential
character of the locality or be injurious to the use or enjoyment of other property in the vicinity.
- The proposed variance will not substantially increase the congestion of the public streets, or increase the danger of fire,
or be detrimental to the public welfare or endanger the public safety.
Who decides to grant or deny a variance?
The Board of Adjustment, a board of residents appointed by the Mayor and City Council, votes to approve or deny your application
after a public hearing.
How does the board decide?
At the public hearing, the Board hears from all interested parties - the applicant, supporters and/or opponents (if any), and
City staff who submit a report which recommends approval or denial. The staff report and the Board's decisions on variance requests
are based on meeting all four findings. If one finding is not met, the variance is not approved. All four must be met.
How do I prove practical difficulties?
In your application, there is a section entitled, "Required Findings." The 3 points in this section outline the basis City
staff uses to determine if practical difficulties exist and how the variance will affect the surrounding community. You have the burden
of proving that the variance is justified. Click here for the Findings as Required by City of Minneapolis Zoning Code.