Zoning Preemption Included in Senate Omnibus Housing Bill

April 19, 2021

The Senate omnibus housing bill includes language that would broadly preempt city zoning and land use authority.

The Senate omnibus housing bill, SF 969 (Sen. Rich Draheim, R-Madison Lake) — which includes a provision that would preempt local zoning authority — was passed by the Senate Finance Committee, and now awaits action on the Senate floor.

The bill includes language from SF 915, which would broadly preempt city zoning and land use authority by limiting planned unit development conditions and aesthetic standards. The zoning preemption bill has been opposed by the League of Minnesota Cities and other city organizations, including Metro Cities, Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities, and Minnesota Association of Small Cities.

For more background information about the zoning preemption bill, read a previous article

Additional provisions

In addition to the zoning preemption provision, the bill includes $2 million in base funding for the Workforce Housing Development Program, a $3.2 million increase in funding to the Workforce Homeownership Program, and a $1.5 million increase for Manufactured Home Park Infrastructure Grants.

However, with no new funding, these increases come from cuts to existing programs, including the Challenge Fund Grant Program and the Rental Housing Rehabilitation Program.

Preemption not included in House bill

The House omnibus housing bill, HF 1077 (Rep. Alice Hausman, DFL-St. Paul) does not include the zoning preemption, but it does authorize new general fund resources for existing housing programs. It includes a $6 million increase to the Challenge Fund Grant Program, $2 million increase to the Workforce Homeownership Program, and $2 million increase for Manufactured Home Park Infrastructure Grants.

The House bill also includes $3 million in one-time funding for Local Housing Trust Fund State Match Grants and $6.545 million for a new Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing Preservation Grant program.

HF 1077 was passed by the full House on a 69-62 vote.

Your help needed

Cities are encouraged to reach out to their senators to provide comments on the impact that preemption of local land use and zoning authority would have on their communities. Outreach is important as the House and Senate bill differences are reconciled during the conference committee process.

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