Who currently owns this property?

    The City of Edina.

    What is it zoned?

    R1 - single family residential 

    What does this mean?

    That is zoned for single family houses. Although guided for open space, single family houses may be developed with a Comprehensive Plan Amendment.

    Is there a deed restriction?

    Yes. The State sold the Duggan Plaza property to the City in 1963 subject to a deed restriction that the property be used exclusively for park purposes. Minn. Stat. 282.01 subd. 1d(d) provides that the restriction was nullified after 30 years, in 1993.

    What does this mean?

    Although when the City first received this property it could only be used as open space, since 1993 that restricted has expired.  The property can now be developed with single family houses. 

    Can two houses fit on this lot?

    Yes.

    What does this mean?

    The lot is 133-feet deep by 103-feet wide.  Dividing into two lots makes each lot 51.5-feet wide.  Although this is narrower than the median lot size in this neighborhood, the two lots would be approximately the same width of lots in other neighborhoods that have higher valued homes.


    Who is the Edina Housing Foundation?

    The Edina Housing Foundation is an independent 501(c) 3 nonprofit corporation that is run by a 5 member Board of Directors all of whom are Edina residents and appointed by the HRA and City Council.  

    Who are they really?

    This is a group of city residents who volunteer their time to focus on affordable housing issues in Edina. Each member is appointed by either City Council or the Housing Redevelopment Authority (which in Edina's case is also City Council). Both bodies refer to this group as their housing experts.

    Is the City selling this land for less than market value?

    Yes.

    Why?

    One restriction to the development of attainable housing in Edina is the cost of land. Not only do developers have front the cost to build the house but they have to buy the land which makes the overall price of a home high. 

    Selling the site to the Edina Housing Foundation for $1.00 allows the sale of the house to not include the land value and makes the home affordable.

    Is there a financial benefit to the City?

    Yes there is!

    What is it?

    Currently the land is not income producing for the City. Once developed, the City, Hennepin County and Edina Public Schools will benefit from property taxes.

    The City has sustainability goals. Isn’t keeping this land as a park more sustainable then building two houses on it?

    This could be argued, however there are trade-offs when it comes to sustainability. 

    What is the trade-off?

    While grass lawns help clean air & trap carbon dioxide, they also require lots of water to maintain and grass produces minimal oxygen. 

    Is there a another possible way to advance sustainability goals?

    Currently 40,000 people travel to Edina to work, many in single occupancy vehicles that produce carbon emissions.  

    Wouldn't it be better to eliminate carbon dioxide from commuters by developing affordable home opportunities for Edina employees to live closer to their workplace and spend less or no time on the road?

    Normandale Park is 1/2 mile away from this lot.

    Will two affordable homes on a smaller than area median lot sizes reduce the property values of neighboring homes?

    No.

    Why?

    There is no evidence that supports this.  Furthermore, the house will be priced to be affordable to a household that earns up to 120% of AMI, or just over $120,000.

    Here is an example in Edina...

    Houses in the Country Club area are on 50-foot lots and have high property values.

    Will neighbors be able to review development plans?

    Yes!

    How will this happen?

    Once the Edina Housing Foundation has ownership of the property and selects a developer there will be an opportunity to review development options and a process to send in feedback. 

    Why?

    Because it is important to the City and City Council to have developers allow neighborhoods to provide input on projects.

    What if the houses are not maintained?

    What would lead anyone to believe that the houses would not be maintained?

    Homeowners typically take pride in their purchase. Pride in home ownership means stability, a chance to build equity and a way to show personality. 

    All Edina homeowners are held to the same regulations including building, grounds keeping, and maintenance codes.

    Why develop this site and not elsewhere?

    City Staff was asked to look for affordable ownership opportunities within the City. 38 parcels were reviewed.  37 were dismissed for the following reasons:  Official, zoned park land; within a flood zone; poor topography; and/or utility easements run through them.  This site is flat, it is not in a flood zone, and the utility easement runs along the edge.  In other words, it is prime for development.

    What City policies support selling this site for two affordable houses?

    The City Council approved the following documents:

    1. The Comprehensive Plan calls for equal access and opportunities for all residents and for fostering economic equity.
    2. The Race and Equity Report includes a statement that “Perceptions exist that city-based housing programs and policies are contributing to the lack of people of color in Edina.”
    3. The City Council’s equity statement “Our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion will be a continuous process of learning and adapting to the multiple needs of all in the community, while consistently applying an equity lens in all decisions and interactions.”
    4. The City Council’s Engagement Statement: “As the Edina City Council, we are committed to fostering an engaged community built on trust. We will do this by intentionally focusing on equity, diversity and inclusion and creating a dialogue of perspectives.”

    The Comprehensive Plan and Race and Equity Report were drafted by a cadre of Edina residents who volunteered many hours over a few years to discuss and draft these documents.  They incorporate the Edina residents’ goals and aspirations for the City.