Susan Henderson, Zoning Code Expert, on Form-Based Codes in Hennepin County

[West Broadway in Robbinsdale.]
Here's a transcript from an interview with Susan Henderson of Placemakers, taken from the wonderful Talking Headways podcast put together by Jeff Wood.

Henderson's firm did some work on the Bottineau station area planning and she mentions it in the podcast.

Here are the locally relevant highlights:

We have a fascinating [project] going on right now… Right now we have this amazing process in Hennepin County which is where Minneapolis is. They’re extnenidng their blue light rail northwest, there's an FTA grant, and the county is the fiscal agent for four municipalities.  
[My] contract is for doing the form-based codes. They’re not even all form-based. There’s some early stage interventions.  
One problem we’ve discovered has to do with capacity both at the staff level and politically. What are people actually able to do? And if we are doing our professional duty, then we’re crafting a code that fits the capacity to ensure successful implementation.  

Across these four municipalities, we have one that’s a "full stop' form-based code. And then we have one that’s basically a simple text amendment that requires good urbanism within a quarter mile of the station, and than just enables it as an option within a half mile.  
There are all sorts of tools that you have to use to make sure you’re giving the local government what they need. The thing I love about this one is that you’re working with these four groups simultaneously, and so it keeps us really really nimble because they all have different issues. [There are] different degrees of urbanity, from great little main streets to only suburbia, and by finding the right solution for each one expands the way we think about coding.
[Q: That’s the Bottineau line. Is that still going forward?] 
Well they’re all hopeful. I can’t speak to the nuances of it all but it’;s in engineering. A lot depends on whether the federal funding happens. 
But also Hennepin County and the Metro area, they’re very progressive and committed to transit. And my understanding is that they’re going to try and find a way, regardless of federal resources.

Of course, the real problem with Bottineau hasn't been federal funding, but rather agreements with the railroad. So all of Henderson's work might be for naught.


People Sitting on Things that Aren't Chairs #7

 [Looks like Seattle, WA.]

[West 7th, Saint Paul.]
[Loring Park, Minneapolis.]

[Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis.]

[Location forgotten. Looks like Franklin Avenue or something. North Loop, Minneapolis.]

[Niagara Falls, ON.]

[Longfellow, Minneapolis.]

[State Fair.]


Signs of the Times #144

 Please do
not park
in front of the

[Yard. Minnehaha Avenue,  Minneapolis.]

Sorry, at a
Back tomorrow

[Chalk board. Cedar-Riverside, Minneapolis.]

Dog Walker
For Hire

[Pole. Location forgotten.]

We'll Help Move You

[Truck. Rondo, Saint Paul.]


[Yard. North End, Saint Paul.]


[Window. West Saint Paul.]

leave the Walk

[Yard. Location forgotten.]

China Jidezhen Ceramics Exhibition

[Fence. Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis.]

Saint Clair Avenue Factory Tour Moved to Tuesday 10/2

It's raining today all day long, so I'm moving the Saint Clair Avenue Factory Tour to a week from Tuesday.


I've only ever delayed one tour before, the Bowling Alley Bike Ride. That was four years ago, so this is a rare event.

Hope to see you on Tuesday!


Join me for a Book Talk in Roseville next Thursday 9/27

I'm excited to announce my first book talk, a reading of my new book Minneapolis-Saint Paul: Then and Now,  part of the "History Revealed" series in partnership with the Ramsey County Historical Society.

It'll take place at one of my favorite places in Roseville (well, it's in the top 20 anyway), the Roseville Library! In case you're wondering, they do have a coffee drive-thru.

While Roseville is not in the book, that's OK because I'll be sharing a bunch of photos that did NOT make the cut, and one of those might be of Roseville.

I'll also be taking about my favorite photos that are in the book, about putting it together, what I learned about looking at old photographs, and what I think are the most interesting and revealing of the images in my new book (now available in bulk at Costco). I do have a lot to say on this topic!

I'll also be on hand to sell and sign copies of the book to anyone who wants, so come on down to the Roseville Library next Thursday and hear me blab about local history. I'm super excited about it.

Here's the blurb:
Join RCHS for History Revealed, our program series featuring presentations and tours from the best of local historians, authors and archaeologists, with a wide range of topics drawn from the heritage and traditions of Ramsey County. 
Locked together in an affectionate sibling rivalry, Minneapolis and its twin city St. Paul are constantly growing and changing. Geographer & author Bill Lindeke will discuss how the Twin Cities have developed from simple trading posts on the banks of the Mississippi in “the land of 10,000 lakes,” and will show photos from his new coffee table book, “Minneapolis-St. Paul: Then and Now” (Pavilion Press) 
Bill will highlight the most interesting places in Saint Paul and the Twin Cities that show the most change from the 19th century to current times with historic and current photographs and offer in-depth descriptions of the sites. The “then” photos are historic images which range from the 1870s to the 1950s. The “now” photos were taken in the summer of 2017 by Karl Mondon of San Francisco, California. Bill will also show sites that “didn’t make the cut” into the book 
“Minneapolis-St. Paul Then and Now” has historic and current photos with historical narrative captions for over one hundred historic sites in Minneapolis, Saint Paul, South Saint Paul, Edina, and the Fort Snelling Unorganized Territory.
Hope to see you there!