Burns & Hansen, P.A.
Call us today for a FREE initial discussion
952-232-5991
Pay My Bill
A Full Service Twin Cities Law Firm
Navigating your legal issues can be
confusing and complicated.

Minnesota Rental Caps Under Scrutiny in Winona Case

How far can local governments go in controlling the number of housing units that are devoted to rental housing? In the last five or six, years, the issue has kept coming up - and not only in college towns. The most recent instance was in not in a college town but in a developed suburb, West St. Paul.

As Minnesota commercial zoning lawyers, we know the importance of making sure property rights are protected in these cases.

In 2005, Winona, home to Winona State University, passed the first ordinance restricting the percentage of rental units on certain blocks. The figure was set at 30 percent on those blocks.

Northfield, the home city for St. Olaf and Carleton colleges, followed with a similar ordinance in 2007. Residents had complained of issues with excessive noise, inadequate parking and unsightly litter in areas of the city with large concentrations of rental housing. Northfield's ordinance capped rentals at 20 percent per block.

Mankato, the site of Minnesota State University, was next. Its ordinance involved a 25 percent cap on rentals.

Now it's West St. Paul. In September, the city council passed an ordinance limiting rentals properties to 10 percent on certain blocks. The ordinance is due to take effect on January 1.

But homeowners are starting to push back against these restrictive ordinances. In Winona, several homeowners are challenging the city's 30 percent cap. They have filed suit, seeking an injunction against enforcement of the ordinance.

The Winona suit contains significant legal issues regarding property rights and the limits of local governments' zoning authority.

City officials in cities that have passed rental caps argue that the goal of the caps isn't to deter rentals. Rather, it is to distribute them more evenly across the city instead of clustered in only a few areas.

The legal issues, however, are far from resolved.

Source: "Suit vs. city: 30% rule musical chairs," Winona Post, 10-26-11

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • Rated by Super Lawyers
  • TwinWest Chamber of Commerce
  • MSBA - Minnesota State Bar Association
  • BBB Accredited Business
  • Ramsey County
  • Hennepin County - Bar Association
  • ABA
EMAIL US FOR A RESPONSE

How Can We Help You?

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Pay Your Bill Online: It’s easy and secure with LawPay
Pay My Bill