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Duluth residents invited to view new land-use rules

The public has two chances -- tonight and Friday morning -- to get a look at the first section of Duluth's new land-use regulations designed to streamline development in accordance with the comprehensive plan.

The public has two chances -- tonight and Friday morning -- to get a look at the first section of Duluth's new land-use regulations designed to streamline development in accordance with the comprehensive plan.

The Unified Development Chapter of the zoning code will update a code adopted in 1958. It allows for more sustainable and mixed-use development and more pedestrian-friendly commercial areas.

Today's meeting, at 6 p.m. in the Depot's Great Hall, is a look at the first completed section of the new plan.

"If you don't do anything to your lot, you may not have involvement with zoning code," said Cindy Petkac, land-use supervisor of the planning division. "But it's going to make it easier for developers to come in and know what the rules are and propose development that fits with the vision" residents have said they wanted.

Friday's meeting, at 10 a.m. in the mayor's reception room in City Hall, will be about university-area housing. The plan includes incentive areas near college campuses where building will be encouraged and an update of the 300-foot rule where certain areas will be designated "homeowner protection areas." Conversion of single-family homes to rentals in those areas will be discouraged.

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The incentive areas, which allow for more people, additional height and some reductions in parking requirements, are proposed for areas including West Arrowhead Road, Mount Royal, Boulder Ridge and nearby city land, Campus Park, East Hillside and Kenwood. The areas are a result of a study done by a young professionals group.

"We've heard from the community concerns about the impact of student housing on the residential neighborhoods surrounding the universities and [they], especially UMD, do not provide enough on-campus student housing to meet the demand," Petkac said.

Module 1 of the Unified Development plan can be viewed at www.duluthmn.gov/planning/udc/index.cfm .

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