Public Hearing: Authorizing Conveyance of City Owned Property to the Edina Housing Foundation
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email this link14 Aug 2020
At the July 21, 2020 City Council meeting, the Council considered a request from staff to conduct two public hearings that would enable a proposal to sell a City-owned parcel on Duggan Plaza to the Edina Housing Foundation for development of two single-family affordable homes. The public hearings were continued to Aug. 18, 2020.
The first public hearing was to vacate unnecessary City utility easements on the parcel. Staff and the City Attorney have determined this public hearing is no longer necessary. This public hearing was been withdrawn and canceled by staff.
The second public hearing was to consider selling a Duggan Plaza parcel to the Edina Housing Foundation. When the action item for this matter was included on the Council’s July 21 meeting agenda, it generated a great deal of public interest and scrutiny. Historical facts about the Duggan Plaza parcel came to light.
Specifically, on March 11, 1963, the Edina Village Council unanimously approved a Resolution for Acquisition of Tax-Forfeited Land for Park Purposes. The Duggan Plaza land was conveyed by the State of Minnesota to the Village of Edina on April 19, 1963. The conveyance of the parcel included a deed restriction that the land be used exclusively for “park purposes,” which was consistent with intent of the Village Council’s March 11 resolution purchasing it.
The Duggan Plaza parcels were originally acquired for park purposes. Residents of the neighborhood surrounding the Duggan Plaza parcels have relied on this for more than 50 years. The City’s 2008 Comprehensive Guide Plan classifies this land as “Open Space and Parks.” While the City Council has the legal authority to convert City-owned park land to a different use, doing so in this circumstance would be a break of trust and faith between the City and the neighborhood. As a result, City Manager Scott Neal has made the following recommendations to be considered at the Aug. 18 City Council meeting:
- Accept the staff’s request to withdraw the proposal and recommendation (Resolution 2020-71) to sell the Duggan Plaza parcel to the Edina Housing Foundation for the development of affordable housing.
- Cancel the proposed Aug. 18, 2020 public hearing for Resolution 2020-71.
- Direct staff to take the necessary actions to more formally include the Duggan Plaza parcels in the City’s land use and park regulatory systems, recognizing the status of the parcels as land reserved for public park purposes.
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email this link27 Jul 2020
2018: One of the established goals for hiring an Affordable Housing Development Manager was to create affordable, single family ownership opportunities.
2019: Staff researched publicly owned parcels (city owned land) to determine if there was potential for development. This research was shared with the Edina Housing Foundation who is a city partner on affordable housing. This group has experience with buying land for affordable housing purposes and seeking developers.
June 2, 2020: The Edina Housing Foundation and City Council met in a City Council Work Session where this idea was first presented to the Council.
June 16, 2020: The City Council approved the request to hold a Public Hearing on July 21 in order to provide a forum for the public to submit input on the project.
July 1, 2020: The Public Hearing and project information was published on Better Together Edina.
July 9, 2020: Notice of the Public Hearing was published in the Edina Sun Current.
July 21, 2020: The Public Hearing was tabled until August 18.
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email this link01 Jul 2020
Edina has an opportunity to address the demand for affordable housing through the sale of a City owned parcel at Abercrombie Drive and Duggan Plaza combined with portions of the streets on either side that need to be vacated (“Property”).
The Property at Duggan Plaza and Abercrombie is relatively flat, is nestled between two single family homes, with the rear of the lot at Normandale road. This Property was once a median like what is in Duggan Plaza. This is an extension of Duggan Plaza that was not formally vacated but grassed over.
The lot is approximately 133 feet deep and 102.59 feet wide. The lot area is 13,618 square feet.
The Property provide an opportunity to develop housing that is achievable to households with incomes at or below 120% of the Area Median Income (roughly $120,000).
The Edina Housing Foundation has assembled a proposal for the land for Council consideration.
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email this link30 Jun 2020
Edina Housing Foundation Proposal
The Edina Housing Foundation (“Foundation”), an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation, proposes buying the City of Edina owned median for $1.00 for the purpose of creating entry level ownership opportunities for households who either want to move to Edina or transition to homeownership from rental. Once the Foundation has site control, they would undergo the following process:
- Request a vacation of the right of way on both sides of the City owned median.
- Request a platting of the median with the vacated right of ways.
- Submit a Request for Proposals to affordable single-family housing developers.
- Select a developer with the best experience, capacity and demonstrated outcomes to fulfill to housing requirements for this Property.
- Require house design to complement existing neighborhood.
- Developer would hold a community meeting to gather input on proposed design.
- The house will be sold to an income qualified homeowner: 80% to 120% of AMI (~$120,080)
- Restrictions will be placed on the property to keep affordable for as long as legally possible.
The Edina Housing Foundation would like to explore splitting the lot to create two single family ownership opportunities. The lot is wide at over 102’ and according to housing developers is ample enough for two homes. One of the restrictions Edina has for the creation of affordable housing in strict land use regulations that call for large minimum lot sizes. This is an opportunity to ease those barriers that keep people out rather than welcoming people in.
The proposed development would be required to seek all required regulatory approvals from the Planning Commission and City Council.
- Who currently owns this property?
- What is it zoned?
- Is there a deed restriction?
- Can two houses fit on this lot?
- Who is the Edina Housing Foundation?
- Is the City selling this land for less than market value?
- Is there a financial benefit to the City?
- The City has sustainability goals. Isn’t keeping this land as a park more sustainable then building two houses on it?
- Will two affordable homes on a smaller than area median lot sizes reduce the property values of neighboring homes?
- Will neighbors be able to review development plans?
- What if the houses are not maintained?
- Why develop this site and not elsewhere?
- What City policies support selling this site for two affordable houses?