Planning Commission Opens Public Comment Period for 1-4 Unit Housing Study Phase 2 Amendments

At their March 3 meeting, the Saint Paul Planning Commission voted to release the 1-4 Unit Housing Study phase 2 amendments and open the public comment period.

The public hearing will be held during the Planning Commission meeting on Friday, April 14 at 8:30 a.m. Community stakeholders are encouraged to testify during the public hearing or submit written comments in advance.

"What an exciting time to live in Saint Paul!” said Planning Commissioner Seanne Thomas. “The 1-4 Unit Housing Study is a long overdue process to create an environment conducive to building more missing middle housing in a time where we are experiencing a critical housing shortage.”

With the 1-4 Unit Housing Study, the City is considering changes to the zoning code that will support a greater range of housing options in Saint Paul. Specifically, the study is evaluating the potential to add additional zoning flexibility to support the creation of additional smaller, neighborhood-scale housing types (such as duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes, townhomes, accessory dwelling units and cluster/cottage homes) in more places across the city.

“This study seeks to eliminate barriers and streamline processes to create more housing density while maintaining the historic characteristics of our Saint Paul neighborhoods,” added Commissioner Thomas. “Saint Paul residents, please take some time to review the proposal, prepare and submit your comments and feedback, and participate in the upcoming public hearing.”

About the 1-4 Unit Housing Study

In 2021, the City of Saint Paul initiated a two-phase study to look at ways to update zoning regulations to increase the supply and types of housing choices.

Phase 1 focused on barriers that could be more easily removed to allow for the creation of additional homes without requiring major policy changes. The City Council adopted Zoning Code amendments that made accessory dwelling unit (ADU) regulations more flexible and allowed for physically smaller homes on January 19, 2022 (Ordinance 22-1). This ordinance became effective in March 2022.

Phase 2 is broader in scope and is focused on evaluating additional zoning flexibility to support greater housing diversity. Specifically, this phase is studying the potential to allow more variety of single-family developments including townhomes, ADUs, and cottage homes clustered around a common courtyard or green space, as well as duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes in more places and changing dimensional standards and other zoning requirements to facilitate this greater range of housing.

Ways to Engage

There are multiple ways to learn more about the 1-4 Unit Housing Study phase 2 amendments and share your feedback with the Planning Commission:

Last Edited: March 7, 2023