Rezoning a duplex in Minneapolis

9 Replies

Hi BP Community,

I recently purchased a duplex in Whittier a few houses south of Franklin. The property is located in an R2B zone. The property has a basement which as of now is not considered a legal unit, but has a kitchen, bathroom, and space for an egress window. I'm interesting in trying to convert this to a triplex, but don't know where to start with the city. 

A few items on the location: directly behind my property is a multi-family property zoned R5 and is two properties south of a large R5 district. Also, catercorner to my property across the street is a property zoned R3. In looking at the surrounding blocks, there are a few other properties zoned R5. 

Has anyone had any luck getting a location like this rezoned with the city? I read quite a few proposals online and most seem to get declined. Any advice would be appreciated!

You should find someone that has successfully completed a zoning change from R2B to R3 along with knowing how to comply with the city planning dept.'s requirements for a conversion from a duplex to a triplex since you are going from a 1-2 unit structure to a commercially classified building according to the IBC codes which governs this.  I heard there's a guy who does consulting for that kind of thing in Minneapolis.

I've noticed a few approved rezoning as of late.  You can see the planning commision's meeting notes here:

The latest meeting at the end of August they approved a rezone from R2B from R4 in Whittier.  Two weeks previous, they approved an R2B to R4 in Lyndale neighborhood.  They post the entire meeting on Youtube so you can see the types of things they discuss when considering if they will approve it or not.

@Peter Ulstad

As @Bruce Runn has mentioned. Even if you are successful in converting from 2 to 3, you are going from residential code to commercial.  You will need 7 continuous feet in the basement,  stairs to code, sound and fire assemblies. Engineer and the architect to sign on it ... Zoning, planning, plan reviews, etc. Expanse of going this route may not be worth the extra unit. Not simple by any means. Just add a space to the fist floor unit. Congrats on your purchase.

@Tony Otis

Yea, that was my rezoning on aug 14th in Lyndale.  

Comments were pretty funny from someone who opposed my triplex-  she lives next door in a 4 plex and thought my building was too much- classic NIMBY

@Tony Otis @Bruce Runn Thanks for the comments here, this thread has been really helpful! Super dry YouTube videos of those meetings, but still interesting and informative to see the process in action.

Curious if any of you know if an R1A >> R2B conversion is any easier to pull off than Peter's request? Looking currently at a single family with a mother-in-law unit, and curious about the feasibility of making the second unit official with the city if we end up buying it.


What neighborhood/ward?  That has a lot to do with your ability to get it rezoned.  Some city council people are more interested in adding density and will up zone and some and not fans of it.

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