MORATORIUM: Halt to home construction draws crowd to City Hall - KMSP-TV

MORATORIUM: Halt to home construction draws crowd to City Hall

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Homeowners and builders packed a public hearing on the residential construction moratorium city leaders put in place last week in response to resident concerns about safety violations and communication.

The one-year moratorium went into effect immediately after a unanimous City Council vote earlier this month, but after hearing valid arguments from both sides on Thursday, that moratorium is now on hold.

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No one would argue that construction isn't a part of life in southwest Minneapolis, which is a bustling spot for home builders -- but current residents are starting to get miffed over the design and size of the new homes and expansions in their neighborhoods.

Whether it's big and new or a major remodel, lumber and Port-A-Potties dot streets -- but some residents want to put the brakes on major building projects for a bit.

"There's no reason for that -- the big houses with the small house," John Crawford argued. "There's no reason for disrespect. There's no reason for blocking people's sunlight."

Crawford was part of the overflow crowd at a public hearing before the City Council, and through the discussion, Councilwoman Linae Palmisano identified an even bigger problem than personal taste.

"For everyone who has shared a story of a considerate builder -- and there are those out there, there are five stories of builders who have ignored, patronized or threatened. We will see that -- literally -- in the public record that they've threatened their neighbors," she said.

The largest concern isn't the homes coming down as much as the sloppy, rude builders who don't follow the rules. Residents say some sites present serious safety issues, but a moratorium throws out the good with the bad -- and for those trying to start construction, it's a dream-killer.

"Extremely emotional, the repercussions are far farther than they could see," Cathy Hendrickson told Fox 9 News. "I don't debate that change is needed. I am debating the process in which they're imposing those changes."

Hendrickson and others urged city leaders to enforce existing rules by making builders comply, and with that, Councilwoman Lisa Goodman agreed to continue the matter for two weeks to discuss if a moratorium is really necessary.

"Part of what we need to do is some negotiation," she said.

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