Missing Middle Bill (HF 4009)

Missing Middle Bill (HF 4009)

Victoria residents should be aware of the potential consequences of housing legislation being pushed forward at the State Legislature. The legislation is known as the “Missing Middle” bill or HF 4009. 

The “Missing Middle” bill (HF 4009) would take away the rights of cities like Victoria to make zoning and land use decisions that would best fit their communities’ needs. The legislation would also silence residents who have concerns over new developments being built in their neighborhoods.  

Potential consequences of the “Missing Middle” bill include: 

Limited Community Input 
This legislation would require cities to adopt an “administrative review process” that prohibits public hearings in most cases unless the proposed development impacts a lot located in a historic district. This required review process means city leaders would be forced to make decisions about new developments without hearing from impacted residents.  

Currently, the City of Victoria has a three-stage concept review process where each stage has opportunities for plan review by the public, relevant advisory boards, and Victoria’s City Council.   

With the passing of this bill, City of Victoria residents would no longer be able to voice concerns regarding developments at public hearings. 

Insufficient Infrastructure 
Cities may need to buy new equipment and resize infrastructure if new residential buildings are taller than what their existing infrastructure can handle. The legislation would allow developers to build 6-10 types of “middle housing” (duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, fiveplexes, sixplexes, townhouses, stacked flats, courtyard apartments, and cottage housing) on any residential lot. 

The City of Victoria has a Comprehensive Plan used for long-term planning of our community and how it relates to infrastructure. It considers zoning when plans are developed for our water and sewer systems to expand with new neighborhoods. The system's size is affected by the number of housing units planned for the area and if lift stations or water storage should be built.  

Most cities’ infrastructure, including water and sewer systems, does not currently support adding high-density buildings to residential lots. 

Public Safety and Environmental Impacts 
The City of Victoria would have to allow smaller homes to be built on single-family lots, regardless of lot size. The city would also have to allow 2-10 units on lots as small as 2,500 square feet and allow multi-family dwellings to be constructed in any commercial area. The dwellings could be as tall as the tallest commercial or residential structure within ¼ mile radius up to 150 feet in height or the local height restriction, whichever is higher. Solar panels on homes and businesses may be blocked by buildings as tall as 150 feet.  

Loss of Financial Support 
No financial support is provided for infrastructure upgrades and expansions needed for increased density, shifting the costs to taxpayers. 

Join the City of Victoria Mayor Debra McMillian in expressing your concerns and showing your dedication to finding solutions that benefit all communities across the State of Minnesota.  A copy of her letter to Representative Jim Nash is available here. 

To show your support for local control, contact Representative Jim Nash by writing an email, sending a letter, or calling his office with concerns about the “Missing Middle” bill (HF 4009).  

Rep. Jim Nash 
349 State Office Building, St. Paul, MN 55155 
Phone Number: (651) 296-4282 
Email Address: rep.jim.nash@house.mn.gov 

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