South Minneapolis has a problem. It’s an enviable one, as far as problems go.
But it’s a problem nonetheless. On account of good schools, popular attractions, and vicinity to downtown and the chain of lakes, South Minneapolis draws homebuyers, new businesses and visitors from across the metro. South Minneapolis has another problem. Its streets and homes were planned and built around the turn of the 20th century, long before the modern car culture and five-bedroom, four-bathroom homes. The confluence of these factors has led to disputes over street parking and building permits in several South Minneapolis neighborhoods.
In fairness, such clashes aren’t unique to Minneapolis. While South Minneapolis’ problems recently generated newspaper headlines, land-use conflicts can arise anywhere. Maybe it’s a new business trying to change a zoning classification. Maybe it’s a developer seeking approval for a new subdivision. Or maybe it’s a longstanding business that finds itself an unwelcome resident in a changing neighborhood. Whatever the situation, there is often spirited debate over the balance of property rights and community desires. Landowners may feel subject to bureaucratic whim, particularly when local politics has turned against them. But, as the saying goes, you can’t fight City Hall.