Letter to the Editor

Zoning bill should be canned


To the editor:

A bill is being formulated at the legislature that would restrict a city’s ability to control its zoning ordinances. The state law would even supersede any zoning ordinances on the books in cities like Hastings.

The premise for this bill is to increase opportunities for developers to build housing such as duplexes, apartments and townhomes pretty much anywhere they wanted with the city not having any say in this uncommon sense housing. The role of a city government is to foster growth uniformly. The bill would take that away.

The whole idea is that because there is a housing shortage in Minnesota a bill such as this would kickstart a large increase in housing which statistically is needed, short term. And it totally loses sight of long term uniformity.

I would submit that a bill such as this, if passed, would create chaos. Our streets are laid out based on neighborhood population. Our parks and playgrounds are located and sized according to neighborhood growth. Our police, fire and rescue services are sustained by a sense of unity and future growth. The same is true for the existing water, sewer and storm drain capacity.

Such a bill should be canned. Were I were a member of the state legislature I would do all I could to curtail any discussion now and in the future on such a crazy idea. And if I were running for the legislature I would make as much noise about it as I could.


Joe Balsanek
Hastings City Council emeritus