Minneapolis/ Politics & Govt
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Published on April 23, 2024
St. Paul Board of Zoning Appeals to Review Series of Property Variance RequestsSource: Google Street View

The Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) in St. Paul is set to navigate through a slew of variance requests as residents and developers aim to tweak their properties contrary to existing regulations, according to documents published on April 22. The agenda, which outlines the various petitions, shows requests ranging from minor tweaks to existing homes to major departures from the code for new commercial developments.

According to the Board of Zoning Appeals, among the proposals, Janice Jaworski seeks a slight relaxation for a garage construction at 1787 Carroll Avenue with less than the required setback, according to the BZA document. Juan Cervantes is also eyeing to replace an old detached garage with a new one that's a bit too close to the edge, while Andrew & Jaclyn Wainwright want to push their property limits a bit further with a larger addition than the RM2 zoning district normatively allows, and all these items are moved to the April 29 BZA meeting for a more in-depth deliberation on the published agenda.

However, drawing particular attention, Snelling Midway Redevelopment LLC's twin proposals could shift the aesthetic and environmental fabric of their locales if approved. The LLC is proposing substantial variances for a parking facility at 450 Snelling Avenue North - including a whopping 311-foot lot frontage and the controversial absence of any landscape screening or shading trees and for a commercial building at 1566 University Avenue West that doesn't meet the city council's window and door opening standards and lacks the required pedestrian entrances opposed to what's been mandated by City Council Resolution 23-1442.

The BZA's upcoming meeting solicited public commentary ahead of time and submissions were required by April 12th to ensure community voices are heard, a measure that underscores the city's commitment to a participatory zoning process; however, late submissions, all that came after 2:00 p.m. April 12, won't cut BZA consideration, as per the  Board of Zoning Appeals.