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St. Paul City Council postpones vote on accessory dwelling units

September 12, 2018

The St. Paul City Council on Wednesday put off a vote on whether to allow accessory dwelling units citywide for two weeks, heeding concerns of Summit Hill residents and others who want more study before allowing this form of rental housing.

Council Member Jane Prince, who represents neighborhoods on the East Side, asked that the vote be postponed until Sept. 26 to give the council more time to study the issue, including looking into home ownership requirements and enforcement. The council voted 5-1 to delay consideration of the change, with Council Member Rebecca Noecker casting the dissenting vote.

Currently, ADUs — small separate homes built in a yard or an apartment added to a garage, attic or basement — are allowed only in a small area near University Avenue along the Green Line light rail. Despite the City Council passing an ordinance to allow such units, only one has been built.

The St. Paul Planning Commission, city planning staff, several of the city’s district councils and other organizations favor amending the ordinance to allow the units to be built citywide as a way to provide lower-cost housing.

Some residents of Summit Hill and St. Anthony Park have raised questions about how this kind of housing could affect the character of their neighborhoods, as well as what would happen to the units when properties are sold.

James Walsh • 612-673-7428

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