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John Nephew

Maplewood City Council Policy & Politics


A New Standard for Variances

This week's LMC Cities Bulletin includes an article about Krummenacher v. City of Minnetonka, a decision issued on June 24th by the Minnesota Supreme Court. The decision will have a major impact on land use decisions by cities, since it overturns the previous standard (from a 1989 appellate court decision) about what constitutes “undue hardship” and justifies a variance. The new ruling sets a much stricter standard, requiring that a “property cannot be put to a reasonable use without the variance.”

I have not yet had a chance to download and read the opinion itself, but at first glance it seems that this should have an immediate impact on how our city council makes decisions on matters such as the requested wetland buffer variance on Monday's council meeting agenda (item J6).

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