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BIA Advocacy Update

Moorhead Residential Zoning Changes

Moorhead is aiming to make changes to their residential zoning ordinances. Below is an overview of some of the main proposed changes: 

  1. Removed “Building Coverage” maximum.
  2. Removed minimum lot depth.
  3. Reduced rear yard setback from 25 ft to 20 ft for singles, twins, duplex, triplex and townhomes.
  4. Reduced minimum lot sizes from 21,780 sf to 12,500 sf and setbacks from 50 ft to 30 ft for new RLD-1, which covers the Oakport & Americana Estates annexation areas.
  5. New RLD-2 (combines old RLD-1 (8,000 sf/dwelling) & RLD-2 (6,000 sf/dwelling)) proposes minimum lot sizes of 6,000 sf,
    1. Increases heights up to 45 ft for two-family & multi-family (35 ft was previous cap).
  6. New RLD-3 proposes increased heights of 45-55 ft depending on proximity to existing single-family (35-45 ft was previous cap).
  7. New RMD combines old RMD-1 (3,000 sf/dwelling) & RMD-2 (2,000 sf/dwelling) to create new 2,500 sf/dwelling and also increases heights to 45-55 ft.
  8. New RHD increases heights to 45-55 ft (45 ft was previous cap).
  9. Added stacked triplex as a housing type option in RLD-2, RLD-3, RMD & RHD.

Click here for the city council report and summary of the current and proposed changes. 

Click here if you would like to see the entire packet which includes a terminology guide and the Ordinance.

If you have any comments, please send them to Elizabeth Kosel, BIA education and public affairs coordinator or Kristie Leshovsky, Moorhead community development director by April 3. The first hearing of the ordinance was March 25 and the second reading is anticipated for April 8. Additionally, the city expects to make additional ordinance changes to mixed use and other zoning districts throughout the year. All of those changes will go to a public hearing first and then to the planning commission. 

Minnesota Construction Codes and Licensing Division Newsletter

To view the spring 2024 newsletter, click here

It includes information on:

  • The process of Technical Advisory Groups reviewing the 2024 International Code Council model codes. 
    • The TAG will review and make recommendations for potential adoption with amendments. 
  • Building Official Training grants awarded (which included Moorhead) and a new round planned. 
  • The simplification and expansion of virtual electrical inspections.
  • The reviewal of the 2024 Uniform Plumbing Code. A committee is reviewing potential amendments and are making recommendations to the Minnesota Plumbing Board. 
  • plus more!

Fargo Growth Plan updates

BIA hosted a meeting on March 18 to discuss next steps for the growth plan. The consultants working on the plan presented some additional findings and recommendations. 

A key idea is that when the growth plan is in place, many developments will happen "by-right" which is automatic administrative approval if the plan meets goals/intentions outlined by the growth plan and codes. This also means that reviews and negotiations will be rare. The goal is to have growth be predictable and transparent.

BIA will continue to be involved in discussions as the growth plan process continues. 

You can view the presentation given on March 18, here.

Horace Land Use Ordinance

A second reading of the ordinance by the city council was April 1. To view the most up to date version of the ordinance, click here. Results from the meeting will be included in the next BIA advocacy update. 

Building Industry Connect Recap

The first BIC of 2024, "Our Future Workforce," included guests Tracy Becker, N.D. Career & Technical Education and SkillsUSA N.D., Dr. Denise Jonas, Cass County Career and Technical Education and Lana Feeley, M.Ed.Fargo Public Schools. 

The main focus was youth cooperative work experiences, which allow students ages 16-17 to gain hands-on experience in fields they are interested in. Because of regulations, the ability for youth to work on construction sites is quite limited. We are working on finding ways to maximize the current framework, and get more students on jobsites to learn about the industry. Because many businesses in our industry are small, challenges include cumbersome paperwork and expenses for WSI coverage. Our next steps are to meet with additional organizations to find ways we can navigate the system better. 

News from the National Association of Home Builders 

With the possibility of the Job Corps program ending, NAHB has been tirelessly advocating for its funding and continuation. Lawmakers recently approved the funding for $1.76 billion, which maintains its fiscal 2023 funding level.

The appropriations bill avoids a lapse in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and ensures that authorization for the NFIP is extended through Sept. 30, 2024. The legislation also prevents the Consumer Product Safety Commission from banning gas stoves. Congress has now passed all its spending bills for 2024. 

To read the article, click here.

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